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Lessons Learnt from Failed Tech Startups

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DateStartupIdeaReason for FailureFull StoryFounder
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March 2018ShypProvides shipping services that ranges from picking-up the package to delivering it to the destination.Wrong target audience I Can’t Wait for You to See What We Do Next by Founder @kevingibbon
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January 2018Pepup WorldConnecting local retail shops with nearby customers, later on pivoted on niche segment, then closedMarket in India was not readyCase study on Pepupworld.com
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January 2018HubrifHubrif was an online distributor of African short films and a one-stop film festival submission gateway platform for African filmmakersFounders constant disagreement over management duties, small market size and users as well as failure to find ways to monetize.... And finally, its time to go home.@hubrif
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November 2017SharkiusSharkius Games was an internet games company based in London UK, which aimed to create engaging and meaningful social experiences.Some fatal mistakes when hiring employees and managing the team, as well as lack of marketing experience, were the causes of its failure.From $80k/month to failure: How Sharkius bit off more than it could chew@simplydt
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October 2017WalnutA better moving companyGreat user experience came at the cost of poor unit economicsWhy we're closing Walnut@nickbkim
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September 2017ReadByHumansConverted articles, in to human-read audio on demand.Economics of the business did not work.How I in-validated a business idea in 3 months with little code, while traveling the world @ksaitor
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July 2017WashioWashio was an on-demand laundry serviceThin margins, quality service issues, and fierce competition from similar startups.Why did Washio fail?@mrjmetz
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July 2017Yik YakYik Yak is a location-based social network that helps you connect with the people around you.struggled to keep users on its platformThe Yik Yak App is Officially Dead
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May 2017SprigSprig is an online app provides healthy organic meals delivered in 15 minutes.the complexity of owning meal production through delivery at scale was a challenge.7 startups that were massively funded that died in 2017
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March 2016QuanttusNot the founder. Looks like blood pressure on the wrist.Product failureHealth-Tracking Startup Fails to Deliver on Its Ambitions@Shahid_Azim
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February 2017Echelon Exchangealgorithmic online stock exchange Lack of passion, no SWOT analysis, regulatory concerns, overly complex, revolutionary doesn't equal valuewhy my startup failed
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January 2017RethinkDBNoSQL databasePicked a terrible market and optimized the product for the wrong metrics of goodness.RethinkDB: why we failed@spakhm
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November 2016GiggerOnline gig booking system for bands, promoters, and venues.Market resistance and not enough customer developmentPost Mortem: Gigger Rocked@antman261
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October 2016SpinviteEvent invitation and sharingSpent entire seed fund on fancy development of untested product.Spinvite - The Party's Over@ohmygodrey
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September 2016FuhuChildrens tablets and apps.Slim profit margins that couldn't cover overhead. The Swift Rise--and Fall--of America's One-Time Fastest-Growing Company
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August 2016GamersTube.comFirst HD cross-compatible video host just for gamers. lack of investment, heavily competitive environmentThe story of a live game streaming network that ran from 2006 but closed in 2013, a year before Twitch, which started in 2011, sold to Amazon for $970 million. "Pioneers get slaughtered and the settlers proper"@youngbloodjoe
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August 2016ShipbeatA single platform for e-commerce logistics.We failed in building a logistics setup that we could power up with softwareShipbeat Post-Mortem@svenningsen
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June 2016Brisk.ioRecommend actions to salespeople from their data (CRM, email, etc)Lack of focus and couldn't eTurning the page: What we learned at Brisk@hajak
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June 2016sociavstre.amAggregate Instagram content by both location and hashtagReliance on third party APIWhy we killed our latest startup@bamcreative
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May 2016cookistoCookisto is an online community marketplace for homemade food.retention rate wasn’t good enoughSix up-and-coming start-ups on what makes for a successful business
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May 2016VymReview GitHub Pull Requests with a slide show without leaving GitHubIt failed to find market fit after launchWhat I Learned From an Unsuccessful Launch: Vymmikeswcho
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March 2016SpoonRocketon-demand food deliveryLack of sustainable profit marginWhat Founders Can Learn From SpoonRocket’s Demise
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February 2016Eulergyconnect university research with businessesIt was extremely difficult to market to students, PHD and Post-doc researchersEulergy closes it's digital doors@benbyford
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January 2016SharingearA p2p marketplatform for music instruments and backline rentalMarket too small, ran out of cash The entrepreneurial roller coaster ride@MirceaGEftemie
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Nov 2015HouseThisIndia's first NRI-focused Real Estate portalLost focus on the productLessons I learnt from failing at my first startup
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Oct 2015HomejoyHome cleaning service.High cost of customer acquisitionHomejoy at the Unicorn Glue Factory@nolimits
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Oct 2015EverythingMeAdds Contextual capabilities to mobile phonesNo business modelPopular Israeli app launcher EverythingMe closes down, most of staff let go
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Aug 2015ZirtualUnlimited virtual assistant tasks for a monthly priceBurn rateZirtual: What Happened and What’s Next@marenkate
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Aug 2015PoliMobileMobile marketing for political campaignsAhead of it's timeTiming is everything--especially in startups.@curtprins
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Aug 2015Last Guide Co.Apps that encouraged real world interactionsFailure to adhere to the original visionGowalla founder Josh Williams shutters Last, a company that made apps to help you go outside@jw
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Jun 2015alikoloe-Commerce MarketplaceInternal problem & wrong positioning in marketThis guy’s story of failing in Indonesia is refreshingly honest. Now he’s getting up and trying again@dannytaniwan
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Jun 2015Circa Newsmobile news appLack of funding, no buyersFarewell to Circa News@mg
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Jun 2015Tale of TalesCreate narrative based video games.Costs were higher than incomeAnd the sun sets...
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Jun 2015Paid for StripeMost popular 3rd party app for Stripe for 2 yearsStripe built their own app.End of Life of an App@ryanscherf
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Jun 2015LumosMachine learning enabled smart electrical switchesOverestimated machine learning & underestimated efforts in converting a prototype to fully functional hardware product5 Reasons Why My IoT Startup Failed@yashpkotak
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Jun 2015Rate My SpeechImprove people's public speaking skillsLack of problem-solution fit, no real team, too much ego.Let it go, let it go… Sunset of my first startup: ratemyspeech.co@aszig
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Jun 2015RewardMeLoyalty platform for restaurants and retailersPremature scaling and founder misalignmentPremature scaling killed us@junloayza
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Jun 2015UDesignCreate & buy beautifully patterned women's clothing from your phone.We didn't stick to our original vision, and let spending get out of control.We went from fashion-tech prodigies to flaming heap of Jichael Meffries-inspired detritus in 1 short, emotional year.@econstreams
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Jun 2015FastrWhatsapp for Customer ServiceWrong approach, wrong target marketFastr - Pitch@gregdsouza
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Jun 2015GuGoA group-centric social intelligence platformCofounder disagreements, couldn't secure fundingHow to Learn From Your Mistakes in a Tech Startup in Order to Succeed@shermanbiz
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May 2015Wattageeasily create customized hardware in your browserrun out of cashWell, We Failed@jeremybell
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STARTUP SALE: Get A 30 Second, High-Converting Explainer Video For Just $197
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May 2015AllmyappsFirst appstore for Windows PCnot enough time spent on vision in the early days, too early marketing spending, too many early hires, and a lot more...Allmyapps — Story of an Almost Successful French Startup@thibauld
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May 2015BitShuva RadioPandora for niche music genres and indie bandsit should have been a platformMy startup's dead! 5 things I learned@judahgabriel
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Apr 2015RememberLiving scrapbook for your family's memories.No marketWhy My Startup Failed And What I Learned From It@iadriantan
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Apr 2015SellanAppCrowdsourced mobile app publishing3 seed rounds without improving business model.What I’ve learned, 6 months after bankruptcy@Milann
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Apr 2015KOLOSThe first iPad racing wheelNot something people wantedKolossal failure: 10 lessons I learned from burning through $50,000 on a hardware project that bombed@k_ivaylo
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Apr 2015BluebirdSquarespace w/open source software & templateslack of financial & operational controls / inexperienced managementThe Art of Embracing Epic Failure@joshsimmons
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Apr 2015Secretshare personal secrets anonymouslydoes not represent the vision when starting the companySunset@davidbyttow
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Mar 2015BawteOne place. Everything you own. Forever.Customers were not adopting software = no incomeSaying Goodbye@bawte
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Mar 2015Patterbuzzunbundle content & let users purchase single articles by enabling micro-paymentssuccess with concept but could not secure fundingPatterbuzz - Down but not out ...@amitgoel1287
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Mar 2015KinikuRead your body's muscle electrical signals, and control things with itco-founders tried to do more than one startup at onceControl things with your muscles@dnghiem
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February 2015QhojoAirBnB for camera and video gear.Risk reward ratio too high for lenders.Startup mistakes@manishsinhaha
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Feb 2015StereomoodMood based music curation & recommendationUnsustainable business model for music licensing feesThe last song for Stereomood’s founders @danimelquiades
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Feb 2015ComboCatsplatform for turn-based multiplayer gamesconsequences of Russia-Ukraine conflictPostmortem: Traps for Friends - our attempt at fair IAP multiplayer@ivmirx
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Feb 2015College Inside ViewProvide more detailed student reviews of collegesI couldn't get enough reviewsCase study of a failed startup@adamzerner
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Feb 2015DeviceFidelityContactless payments / NFC for iphoneApple built NFC into new product linewww.nfcworld.com/tag/devicefidelity/@amit_df
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Jan 2015KinlyCreate a private social network for families.We didn't solve for distribution.The idea is dead. Long live the idea.@donsmithmier
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Jan 2015Cusoycurated restaurant finder for people with food allergies No clear or predictable way to sustainabilityCusoy: A postmortem@melissatsang
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Jan 2015StartheadCrowdfunding service for the whole world from Czech RepublicWe were naive idiotsThe idea of giving up is worse than of it killing me: How $150,000 post-it came to be?@michalsobel
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Jan 2015PolianaVisualize political influenceDon't do politics unless you're ok to be non-profitThe life and death of a political startup@cereallarceny
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Dec 2014Zagreb CohousingColiving space in Zagreb, CroatiaWrong place, wrong targetZagreb Cohousing FAIL
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Nov 2014Springpaddigital notebooksnot able to scale to become a self-sustaining businessSpringpad says goodbye@jacq_hampton
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Oct 2014Keep Fit Stay SaneAn Online Emotional GymCouldn't find a marketStartup postmortem: Keep Fit Stay Sane@gentlemantech
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Oct 2014ShwrümOpenTable for Apparel ShoppingToo early + ran out of cash22 Mistakes I Made As A First Time Founder@ViableBen
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Oct 2014Amiloomdevice forms network of people w/common friendscannot be clearly explained in 3 seconds3 Reasons Why My Tech Startup Failed@andershsi
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Oct 2014WishareitFind and buy gifts with/for friends. Early hires + Didn't validate Business Model5 Mistakes I Made Launching a Startup@joaoromaolx
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Sep 2014Emjoymenttinder for jobs99 reasons but a bit (code) ain’t one99 Problems But A Bit Ain’t One: Why My Startup Failed@asaven41690
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Aug 2014Dinnrsame day ingredient delivery servicesimply didn't have legsSeven lessons I learned from the failure of my first startup, Dinnr@michalbohanes
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Aug 2014LicensarioBilling system for SaaSBad marketingThe mistakes that killed my startup@gilsadis
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Aug 2014X-FacePut your face on characters.Didn't solve a problem we cared aboutWhat we have learned from our failed Startup@demirbyilmaz
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July 2014Fab.com (Hem Design)Flash sales of uniqly designed productsToo fast expansionThe Rise and Fall of Fab.com: A Cautionary Tale for Every Entrepreneur https://twitter.com/betashop
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Jul 2014Mopedmake messaging more web-friendlywe didn't build something that enough people wantedLaunching Sidestage After Failing At My First Startup@schuylerd
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Jun 2014Imercive360°, full motion, interactive videostuck with the wrong strategy for too longImercive Post Mortem@keithbnowak
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Jun 201499dressestrade fashion itemslack of product-market fit, and everything else in betweenMy startup failed, and this is what it feels like…@nikkidurkin99
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Jun 2014PopinPrivate, mobile, location based social networkIdiotic customer developmentThree years@christopherbull
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May 2014OpTierBusiness transaction management softwareComplex and buggy productFind farewel to OpTier@israelmazin
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May 2014Bloom.fmmusic streaming servicethe deal fell through at the last minuteClose,but no cigar@oleg_bloom
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May 2014Manillaonline platform to manage accounts and pay bills unable to achieve scale necessary for viable economicsManilla Is Shutting Down@schinella
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May 2014PumodoApp for football players to share stats & accoladesWe didn't obsess over it and we didn't love itA startup postmortem with a happy ending? ..in Thailand@tfridriksson
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May 2014HowDoPlace to discover, capture & share DIY & Craft guidesfailed to make the goal possiblethe last step@edwardjewson
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Apr 2014Argylesocial media tools for B2B marketerscouldn’t compete with marketing giantsArgyle is shutting down our service@Ericboggs
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Apr 2015orat.iodiscussion platform & plugina lot of reasonsAnother catchy headline why you should read this article about how my startup failed@3x14159265
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Apr 2014Stippletag people, places, and objects in an imagedid not scale fast enough"Stipple Shuts down"@Premiumfixer
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Apr 2014Samba Mobilead funded datahigh and increasing   unsustainable — data costsSamba Closing down@benartherton
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Apr 2014Zumboxdigitized transactional postal mailtime & cost to deliver was more than market was prepared to investZumbox to shutter its operations@yarone
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Mar 2014NeediumSocial media lead generation for small businessesToo early in market + extreme founder dilutionSeven Major Insights I Learned from my Failed Startup@sebprovencher
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Mar 2015Criticashare your opinions on any websitedid not have that traction. And so we ran out of moneyMy Startup Failed@jasonhuertas
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Mar 2015LayerVaultVersion control for designersFailed to generate enough revenueLayerVault is shutting down@kellysutton
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Mar 2014World Burrowmake unused meeting rooms available for freeit would not work due to security restrictionsWhy I’m Open Sourcing My Failed Startup@nfeiglin
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Mar 2014Mochi Mediaad network for developersanother casualty in the decline of FlashMochi Media Winding down services@etrepum
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Mar 2014Salorixsocial media managementthe deal did not go throughSalorix shuts operations@santanuB01
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Mar 2014Execon demand house cleaning servicedemand was very spiky, customer activation was hardWhat I learned from online to offline@ghazviian
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Mar 2014Readmillapp to read and share ebooksnot possible to sell books on Apple’s platform at competitive priceEpiloque@henrikberggren
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Feb 2014Blurttphoto sharing app for iPhoneI started to feel burned outShutting down Blurtt@jeanettec007
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Jan 2014Canvas/DrawQuestDrawing/remixing communityout of cashToday my startup failed: Story of Chris Pool — founder of 4chan and DrawQuest.@moot
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Jan 2014Delightvisualize how users interact with appsservice does not give intermediate values to your usersFailed to delight : Post -moterm of my first startup@thomaspun
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Jan 2014OutboxDigitizes physical mailwasn't enough demand to support the cost modelOutbox Shuts Down Its Mail Digitizing Service@Evanbaehr
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Dec 2013Exfmmusic discovery platformthe high costs of processing millions of new songs every monthChanging Tune@dankantor
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Dec 2013Bookishnew destination to connect readers with booksa shallow container for banner adsBookish is a failing startup that could fundamentally change digital publishing@lazyvalue
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Dec 2013Teamometertime tracking softwarefail to multiply big numbersstartup lessons learned from my first startup@stekliney
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Dec 2013WahoolyExchange startup equity for social advocacyRan out of money. Pivoted too soon. What Entreprenuerial Fear and Failure Look Like@danerobert
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Dec 2013Tigerbowsend physical gifts by email, facebook and twitterunable to execute on a strategy to drive early tractionTis the Season for a Tigerbow Post Mortem@itsdlevy
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Nov 2013Everpixthe smart photo platformfailed to effectively position giants like Apple and GoogleOut of the picture: why the world's best photo startup is going out of business@wwayne
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Nov 2013MyManualCustom instructions for home theater equipment by scanning barcodesInexperience with building productI fucked up@barnettlklane
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Oct 2013Admazelyretargeting platform for web shopsran out of fundingStartup Failure: How it feels@pschlegel
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Oct 2013Travelllllhottest travel news site on the planetthere was no real audienceTravelllll Post-Mortem@JohnONolan
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Oct 2013Shnergleapp that allows to view a place in real timeproduct wasn't getting the traction it neededShnergle Post Mortem@JonnyBull2
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Oct 2013UniSportonline hub for student sport"for a number of reasons"Someone else is building my failed start-up. @tomcarra
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September 2013HitMeUpLocation-based flash salesLack of definitionLessons learnt for Investors @ctapool
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Sep 2013Sonarhelp users discover relevant contacts close byeveryone stood a better chance starting anewPostmortem of a Venture-backed Startup: Lessons Learned from the rise and fall of @Sonar@brett1211
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Automatically convert new twitter followers into paying customers (without being annoying)
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Sep 2013Intellibankonline CRM solutionwe did not achieve product-market fit7 things I learned from startup failure@puiwah
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Sep 2013Fluda personalized mobile news platformNot giving enough time to stress and load testing Why Startups Fail: A Postmortem For Flud, The Social Newsreader@ghoshal
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Aug 2013Flowtabapp to order and pay for drinks at a bar or nightclubhard to market ourselves properly in bars without being thereThe decline and fall of Flowtab@Mikettownsend
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Jul 2013PollarizeSocial app that enables users to create an A/B questionIt was a free app that would've needed millions of users to get noticed, and selling it as a polling platform was never fully explored.Failed startup@wehtam
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Jun 2013Saaspirerelevancy platformget the other sources stable before you can focus on the productLessons from my failed startup@ninomarakovic
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May 2013ArkadInvestor relations softwareCustomer incentives were not aligned with buying the softwareLessons learned starting our first business@boxerbk
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May 2013ThrivelyRadically simple 360 feedback for your teamLack of funding, no tech cofounder, challenging marketShutting down my startup@nickfassler
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May 2013TotsyFlash sales for toddlers / young mothersCost per order > revenue per order + unsustainable marketing spendTotsy burns through $34 million, lays off its 83 employees, selling assets@ggauthereau
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Apr 2013On-Q-itynon-invasive diagnostic monitoring tools cancer patientsdidn't have enough capital around the tableOn-Q-ity, a Cancer Diagnostic Company: R.I.P@MaraAspina
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Apr 2013GroupSpacesa membership management platform for groupslack of product/market fit in the new marketsLooking back at 7 years with my startup GroupSpaces@andyy
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Apr 2013Zillionearscreative pre-sale platform for musicianspeople really didn’t really LIKE anything about our productMy Startup Failed. F@<#.@nemrow
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Mar 2013Formspringsocial platform to help people learn more about othersOur opaque follow-model shot us in the footFormspring- A postmortem@adeolonoh
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Feb 2013Vitotocreate collaborative videos on smartphonesWe were not playing to our strengthsVitoto Offically Shutting Down@morokuapps
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Feb 2013GowallaSocial guide to share & discover experiences and citiessomeone else found a path to the goal with less frictionPlay by your own rules.@jw
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Jan 2013NokterFoursquare for nightlifePeople hang out usually same places with friendsNokter - Foursquare for Nightlife@alvaradomarcos9
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Nov 2012Parceldstyle discovery platformtechnical co-founder quit & pulled the code out from under meLessons from my failed startup@brianne_garcia
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Aug 2012Little PrinterSend, receive & print messages/photos from anywhereNo sustainable business in connected productsThe design company behind the Little Printer is dead@genmon
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Jun 2012BellstrikeInstant websites for NonprofitsNot enough revenue per customerLessons learned from a self funded startup@doddcaldwell
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Jan 2012Plancastsocial event sharing siteusers don't develop a strong habit of contributing contentThe Uphill Battle Of Social Event Sharing: A Post-Mortem for Plancast@jaymon
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Nov 2011TalentArenaCommunity & marketplace for artists from different verticals.Aim for perfection in product prevented a proper sales job.How to fail a startup@maxrockt
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Aug 2011HelloParkingairbnb for parkingrarely had meaningful conversations with our target end-usersPart Two of the HelloParking postmortem: a look back, and a new perspective@chris_hoog
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Jul 2011MyFavoritesShow + Tell Your FavoritesI was blowing cash — at a ridiculous pace.The little startup that couldn’t (a postmortem of MyFavorites)@nb3004
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Oct 2010Standout Jobsrelationship focused recruiting portalfounding team couldn't build an MVP on its ownA Postmortem Analysis of Standout Jobs@austinhill
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Oct 2010Wesabepersonal finance management platformmost people use a shorter-term alternative if availableWhy Wesabe Lost to Mint@Marcprecipipe
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Sep 2010NewsTilta platform for the new model of journalismweren’t intrinsically motivated by news and journalismWhy we shut NewsTilt down@paulbiggar
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Aug 2010RiotVinesocial event guidenever generated the tractionPost-moterm@KabirH
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Jun 2010YouCastrmonetize online videowe weren't in love with the idea or marketYouCastr- a post mortem@Arieldiaz
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Jun 2010eCrowdsweb content management meets social networkingtoo much time building it for ourselves & not getting feedbackPost Mortem on a Failed Product@Davidklanac
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Nov 2010CertTimeDigital timestamping serviceWrong audienceCertTime@apankrat
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Apr 2010Devverturns desktop tools into cloud-based services. focused on engineering first & customers secondLessons Learned@davidcohen
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Mar 2010SMSnoodleSMS based entertainment channel for Singaporeoverestimated the Singapore market4 Mistakes Made And Lessons Learnt by Vijay of SMSnoodle@vijaykganesan
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Feb 2010EventVueOnline communities to connect conference attendeesdidn’t focus on learning & failing fast until it was too lateEventVue-Post mortem@joshfraser
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Aug 2009LookeryEnable social networks to distribute data as targeting infodependant on another platformCouldery shouldery@sawickipedia
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Jul 2009SampaPlatform for families & friends to share stories, photos, events and milestonesNot big enough pain at a time Facebook made sharing so easy (2008-ish)Anything and Everything About Sampa, From Business to Personal@calbucci
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Jul 2009TeeBeeDeesocial network for people over 40did not scaleTurning Out the Lights
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Apr 2009PlayCafean online game show networkwe didn't reach enough users10 lessons from a failed startup@devnag
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Jan 2009Overtoauction aggregation serviceno one of us was skilled in that areaLessons Learned: Startup Failure Part 1@pawelbrodzinski
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Dec 2008Difflesocial network based on simple 2D flash gamesit ended up going nowhere'Aftermath@jontang
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Jul 2008Monitor110data and information gathering servicenot close enough to the customerMonitor 110: A post mortem@infoarbitrage
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Jun 2008BricaBoxpersonal social contenttackled a technical problem, not a Market ProblemBricaBos: Goodbye World@kylebragger
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May 2008Meetroa multi-network social messengerpeople just weren't excited about the idea'Anatomy Of A Failure: Lessons Learned@Vlauria
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May 2008Kikoan online calendartoo slow at times, and focused on the wrong thing at timesLessons from Kiko, web 2.0 startup, about Its Failure@justinkan
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Apr 2008Nouncermicro-blogging servicelacked the audience my product needed to succeedThe Last AnNounce(r)ment@eranhammer
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Jul 2007Backfencecreate hyper-local community sitesinternal problems made it impossible to reach transition pointCo-Founder Potts Shares Lessons Learned from Backfence Bust@pottsmark
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Jan 2007BitpassOnline micropaymentscrappy business model, tried to do too much, lack of focusBitpass Croaks: Is This the End of Micropayments?@_nvs
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Jul 2006Cryptineinformation security servicesthe board couldn't break the deadlockkey lessons from Cryptine network's failure@nunderwood
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May 2000Boo.comHigh End Sportwear e-tailerHigh ambitions, poor executionBoo.com goes bust