Failure. All startups fear it. Many, at one point or another, encounter it. There’s no denying that failure is a big part of startup culture. Some of the best and brightest preach the “fail fast” methodology, wherein quickly launching and fixing small failures can help avoid “the big one.”
Whether you subscribe to this practice or not, the reality is that startups fail all the time, and luckily many entrepreneurs share their experiences “post-mortem” with the community. We’ve covered a handful of these posts from startups, but now ChubbyBrain has put together a hefty collection of these essays for your education.
Late last week we shared the story of Marc Hedlund, co-founder of Wesabe, a personal finance startup that lost out to Mint despite being first to market. Marc concluded that it wasn’t any of the smaller trivial things (like domain names, or who launched first) that helped Mint win; it was the company’s commitment to quickly pleasing its users that helped it succeed.
In September, we mentioned the 7,000-word essay penned by Paul Biggar, co-founder of NewsTilt. Biggar’s startup was hailed as a potential saving grace for disgruntled journalists who were looking to leverage their personal brands online. In the end, he credited his company’s actual disinterest and unfamiliarity with journalism as a key catalyst for the company’s failure.
And finally, back in April we mentioned Ben Brinckerhoff’s post about the closure of Devver, a TechStars 2008 graduate that hoped to create tools and resources for developers. “You can teach a hacker business, but you can’t make him or her get excited about it, which means it may not get the time or attention it deserves,” he said.
These three examples and many more are included in ChubbyBrain’s collection of 25 of the “best” startup post-mortem essays. While it can be disheartening to hear these tales of failure, they provide a valuable resource to the first-time entrepreneur looking to avoid an epic failure of their own.