Learning from your mistakes is perhaps one of the most important aspects of being an entrepreneur. Odds are you have less than an ice cube's chance in hell of getting it right on your first try, which means failure is going to be your most effective learning tool. Sure, mentors can guide you in the right direction, but without some first hand failing experience, you won't know which mistakes to avoid. Fortunately, one website is hoping to change that by making failure a valuable startup resource.
The Startup Graveyard is a resource for entrepreneurs hoping to avoid making the same mistakes as failed startups. By listing out as many failed tech companies as possible, the Startup Graveyard aims to make mistakes part of the learning process rather than something to get hung up on.
“We hope that this project can help de-stigmatize failure, increase transparency, create a community and improve the information on the site. It’s a lot to ask, but it starts here,” reads the website.
While still in the earlier stages of researching potential candidates for a dedicated startup coffin, the Startup Graveyard has everything you need to learn from the mistakes of startups currently resting in peace. Between the thorough post-mortem (reasons for failure), the comprehensive obituary (history of user experience), and plenty of facts like time of death (when it failed), estate worth (funding to date), and family members left behind (startup founders), this website is a respectable monument to startups come and gone.
By taking a quick scroll through the website, you'll find a few startups you might recognize, like RewardMe and 99dresses, reminding potential startup founders that any level of success can result in failure. It's important to remember that “failure” in the eyes of the Startup Graveyard just means they're no longer in control of their operation. Exec, for example, made the list, as they were purchased in 2014 by Handy for $10 million.
As the undertakers of this graveyard will remind you, this resource, while thoroughly curated, “is not as a source of absolute fact.” They go on to warn that the startup journey is a complicated one and “is usually the result of interrelated long term factors.” Rather than taking these lessons as gospel, use them to inform your future decisions as a founder. And, if you're feeling down in the dumps about your current endeavor, the Startup Graveyard is a great source of Schadenfreude.
Read more about startups and their failures here on Tech.Co