When I got invited to do a “failed startup” interview at Failory, naturally, I went over their website to check out what they’re all about. As I was between projects and in the process of going over the lessons of my own ventures, the opportunity to read about the first-hand experience of other failed founders, my peers, came just at the right time.
So, I did what any other person totally irresponsible with their time would do: I spent the next three to four days reading every single one of the 80+ failed startup interviews and taking notes in a spreadsheet. When I did this I tried to see if some of the mistakes and lessons are mentioned over and over again, and in this article, I’ll present my findings.
Disclaimer: the interviews are qualitative, even though the founders were asked similar questions, they weren’t asked to fill out a survey, so to gather the “data” I had to interpret their words and put them into boxes. This means mistakes and oversights on my part are likely and you shouldn’t take the data, as presented, too seriously. Nonetheless, I still think the takeaways ought to be useful for anyone embarking on a startup journey.
In the interviews, all startups are asked to mention the major reason the project failed. Of course, over the length of the interview, the founders also talk about all other kinds of mistakes they made and problems they ran into which contributed to the failure.