Silver lining: Portland post mortems on startup failures provide guidance to would be founders

In the world of startups, you always hear about “embracing failure.” That you need to be prepared. That your company may fail. That the vast majority of startup pursuits do. But being prepared—or at least thinking you’re prepared—doesn’t make it any easier. I get that. And that’s why I’m always appreciative when founders take the time to share what they’ve learned.

Two local startup efforts—Nacho Cove and WbSrch—have recently wound down their efforts. But they’ve provided insights on why. And with each demise comes valuable, and cautionary, tales for founders, be they current or future.

Nacho Cove tried to fix email:

[W]e went after an old/stale technology, building an enterprise communication (email/chat/to-do) tool that had the ability to prioritize actions based on what mattered to the individual. That’s right, we went after the email problem that plagues every individual who works in a large company. We got a few patents, built a great tool (better than anything on market) and did it on a shoestring. Two competitors emerged, spending 10X what we spent to build technology that was less capable, less secure and less enterprise focused.

WbSrch tried to fix search:

Anyhow, it’s a little bit sad that it didn’t work, and a little bit sad that I spent all that time on it, but I did get smarter. And not just code. I learned a lot more about marketing and advertising in the process.

Whether you’re a founder or not, it’s worth reading through both of the posts.

Hat tip Malia Spencer at the Portland Business Journal

(Image courtesy Dissonant Chord. Used under Creative Commons.)