If you ever wanted a glimpse into what dooms startups, look no further than autopsy.io, a new website that lists the reasons why many newborn tech firms imploded.
The website offers entrepreneurs the ability to self-explain why their startup didn’t quite make it; in a bid to separate real-life stories from entertaining fictions, the application form asks for a link to a blog post or medium article “that tells the story of the failure,” along with the founder(s) Twitter handle and Crunchbase or Angel.co profile.
Some of the reasons listed for failure are maddeningly opaque, such as UniSport’s “for a number of reasons” or PlayCafe’s “we didn’t reach enough users.” Others are bleakly hilarious; as the founders of Zillionears, self-billed as a “creative pre-sale platform for musicians,” confessed: “People really didn’t really LIKE anything about our product.”
Still other founders offered familiar tales of woe. “Technical co-founder quit & pulled the code out from under me,” confessed the person behind Parceld, a style discovery platform. “Stuck with the wrong strategy for too long,” offered those behind Imercive, which marketed “full-motion, interactive video.”
Co-founder betrayal, bad market timing, strong competitors, no clear roadmap… all those reasons (and many more) have found their way onto autopsy.io’s expanding rolls. If you’re thinking of launching your own company, or you work for a wet-behind-the-ears startup, it’s worth scanning the list to see if any of these potential crises are brewing in your setup.