A few months ago I wrote a post about Brent Bowers’ column in The New York Times, following three startups as they–we all hoped–grew and prospered. Last week Bowers revisited the three startups and came back with a fresh and not altogether happy new view of startup reality.

None met all their goals, but Ms. Adler came the closest. She has built her cafe to $8,000 in revenue a week, up from $7,000 six months ago. But that is still $3,000 shy of her projections. She also expects to begin making a profit this summer, an impressive achievement for a new restaurant.

Ms. Ericson, by contrast, has scaled back her ambitions to create a Web clothing store that doubles as a portal to an Internet center for women. She instead has spent most of her time making cold calls to boutique shops to sell her “Mama says” T-shirts.

And Mr. Takle, just back from a trip to India to recruit low-cost legal talent for his property management software company, says that while he remains hopeful, his venture is foundering. “It’s getting dangerously close to needing investors just to survive, which is a bad place to be,” he said.

There’s not a whole lot of good news there, but not a lot of surprise either. Sales are lower than projections, and the three entrepreneurs are troubled, but resolved. Click here for more

Tim BerryTim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.