We Interrupt This Regularly Scheduled Program to Talk About Failure

In a continuation of last week’s theme about what usually happens day-to-day at startups, this week I take a moment to remind us all how this whole thing usually ends up:

fail.jpgMost startups fail.

In fact, several venture-backed startups with lots of prior press coverage lauding them as the next big thing shut their doors or sold the company in an Acqhire deal this past week.

If you clicked any of the above links, you noticed that some of the announcements were post-mortems from the founders.

My friend, Matthew Douglass, CTO and co-founder of Practice Fusion, shared a great post which collected 51 of these “lessons learned” posts from failed startups.

It’s so great that it inspired me to write a whole post here just so I could link to it. With strong emphasis.

Go read this post about 51 startups that failed. This should be considered a must-read. The excerpts are great, and there’s even more when you click through to the original sites.

One excerpt in particular from a company called Schnergle resonated with me. I feel it speaks to the startup founders who think they’ll build a venture-backable company in the education sector simply by giving their product away for free:

Find some way of charging money from day one. You can still use a freemium structure to up-sell later.

Yes, there will be companies like Edmodo and Clever who take this approach with schools to build the right level of initial scale, but it does not work for most. Find a business model!

photo credit: Rob Boudon via photopin cc

Leave a Reply