An anonymous tech entrepreneur—who at his height in the startup world “hit the top of TechCrunch” and landed a prestigious spot in a startup accelerator—has predicted the demise of his fledgling business, and is blogging the collapse as it happens.
He made the decision to start My Startup Has 30 Days To Live “in the middle of the night last night while lying in bed next to my sleeping wife”, and the two posts he’s written so far are chock-full of valuable takeaways:
They say accelerators speed up success and failure, in our case, all it sped up was our ability to play the startup game.
The day we set foot into the doors of the accelerator, we had a business that DHH would be proud of. Bootstrapped, lean and already providing (in a small way at least) for the needs of my family and that of my co-founder. Over the next 3 months, our initial desire to not raise a seed round was dismissed and we were thoroughly convinced that we had to continue on the VC rocket-ship in order to matter to anyone. My reluctance to do this was met by scoffs and dismissals from many others in the accelerator cohort (most of which have since gone on to fail hard) as well as by the mentors and investors who had offered their time, network and resources to help us succeed. This is where we made the first in a series of many mistakes.
We listened to our investors.
They were proven entrepreneurs that had made millions (sometimes nefariously…) and they believed in us. If only we would:
- “Make feature X free”
- “Stop focussing on revenue, someone else will pay the bills”
- “Grow $VANITY_METRIC so you can show a hockey stick at demo day and look good”
- “Cut out that pesky client that generates 80% of your revenue, they’re a distraction on the road to executing $OUR_BIG_VISION”
We drank the Kool-Aid and went all-in. By the time demo day came around, we had cheques being written and were all over the press. Still, I had this nagging feeling eating away at me. That nagging feeling was disbelief.
I didn’t believe the shit I was selling investors. This was not the company I put my life on the line to build.
The entrepreneur-cum-blogger opted to include Tumblr’s “Ask Me Anything” feature on his blog, which opens to doors to any reader who would like to know more.
Images via Shutterstock