So, the startup failed.
No soft landing, no happy ending- we simply failed.
It’s been a year’s journey, full of highs and lows. I am simultaneously incredibly proud, and incredibly disappointed.
The online aggregation industry in any sector (radio axi, in our case) has a volatile market which poses the most risk to founders and/or investors. What I mean by ‘volatile market’ is volatile customer database (which would attract vendors who provide offers and promotions) and volatile radio taxi drivers database (which would attract vendors who provide incentives for running brand names). And you can surely guess who wins- the one which gets regular funding, is backed by venture capital or a big market player. The same principle applies to any aggregation industry.
In our case, customer retention and engagement were great. And yet we still failed. It may seem surprising that a seemingly successful model could fail, but it happens all the time. Although we arguably found ourselves to be market-fit, we couldn’t quite crack the business side of things.
Building any business is hard, but building a business with a single founder member is especially hard. I’ve come away with new found respect for those companies who excel at monetizing online aggregation applications. As I approached the end of our runway, it became clear to me that Mobitech didn’t represent a venture-backed opportunity, and even with more time that was unlikely to change.
I’m terribly saddened that this may spell the end for it. However, as of today, the members of our team have gone their separate ways, and our doors are effectively closed.
I’m disappointed that I couldn’t produce a better outcome for those who supported me the most—my vendors, employees and friends/family. Few in business will know the pain of failing as a startup founder. Not only do you fail your employees, your customers, and yourself, but you also fail the motivators who helped bring your idea to life.
What defines best friends is not how they help you when you’re a rocketship, but how they respond when your ship is on fire and you’re venting atmosphere. In this case, my friends/family have demonstrated what sets them apart from the rest—they’ve supported me throughout the ups and downs, and especially the downs.
As for what’s next for me, I honestly have no idea. This is the first time in my career that I am at the proverbial crossroads. One thing I’ll be doing more of is writing about my experience. Partly because it’s therapeutic, but also because if there’s a silver lining in all of this (and there is), it’s that I can help educate others about a path fraught with hardship, but rewarding nonetheless. Believe me—I’ll have a lot of free time on my hands these next few weeks. I don’t wish to glorify my failure, but it’s certainly something I’d rather embrace than hide behind for the years to come.
And to everyone who has supported me over the startup journey, from the bottom of my heart- thank you.