Story of two failed startups – Developing in a vacuum never works.

Product Management

Story of two failed startups – Developing in a vacuum never works.

Here is the insightful story of 2 failed startups:

Monitor110: Raised $20mn in 3 rounds, but finally shut shop.

7 deadly sins?

  • The lack of a single, “the buck stops here” leader until too late in the game
  • No separation between the technology organization and the product organization
  • Too much PR, too early
  • Too much money
  • Not close enough to the customer
  • Slow to adapt to market reality
  • Disagreement on strategy both within the Company and with the Board [More]

Another startup, that bootstrapped for 1.5 years shut down has very practical


  • If your idea starts with “We’re building a platform to.” and you don’t have a billion dollars in capital, find a new idea. Now!
  • It’s a marathon, but it’s a marathon made of sprints
  • Initial conditions matter. A lot.
  • Developing in a vacuum never works.
  • Beware of the chicken and the egg – have a product that is useful on its own.
  • Prototype any 3rd-party libraries that you’ll be depending upon, before you base your product on them.
  • If you’re doing anything other than building your project and getting users, it’s premature.
  • The product will take longer than you expect. Design for the long-term.
  • People have an incentive not to crush your dreams. Take everything they say with a grain of salt.
  • Know your limitations. [More] – via

Following sentence summarizes the nuts and bolts of a possible success:

A lot of this comes down to picking a problem that’s a.) worth addressing and b.) doesn’t require a lot of support code to address it.

Too much money is like too much time; work expands to fill the time allotted, and ways to spend money multiply when abundant financial resources are available. By being simply too good at raising money, it enabled us to perpetuate poor organizational structure and suboptimal strategic decisions.

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