Failing Publicly – DrawQuest, Outbox and Everpix

In the world of startups, everyone is always killing it. Until they’re not.

This week saw two shutdowns that up until now seemed to have the product / market fit and traction, not to mention VC backing, that would appear to spell success.

First came DrawQuest (a pivot from Canv.as):

http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/21/when-goods-not-good-enough/
http://chrishateswriting.com/post/74083032842/today-my-startup-failed

Followed by Outbox (which appears to be pivoting after raising a $5M A round last July):

http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/21/outbox-shuts-down/
http://blog.outboxmail.com/post/74086768959/outbox-is-shutting-down-a-note-of-gratitude

In both instances the founders of the companies have come out to tell their stories of failure. Say what you want about the products these teams created, I applaud them for having the courage to tell it like it is.

Even more transparent was last November’s shuttering of Everpix, a much loved photo organization startup. Not only did they do an in-depth article with The Verge, they went ahead and posted a ton of metrics and other internal documents to GitHub including VC feedback and financials.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/11/5/5039216/everpix-life-and-death-inside-the-worlds-best-photo-startup
https://github.com/everpix/Everpix-Intelligence

I continue to be amazed by how folks in the startup community are so willing to educate others via their own successes and failures. Other industries would do well to heed this example as it will only increase the speed at which the industry as a whole innovates and matures.

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