...and finally, its time to go home


#1

I thought we were at least going to celebrate our 2 years birthday, unfortunately, the brutal hand of startup death said our time was up.

Its been an incredible journey through with bitter-sweet experience. We started the journey here and excitedly announced our birth, its only respectable to announce our painful demise here. I believe the question on your mind would be what happened? I am too weak to write an epistle so am just gonna alight our mistakes and errors

  1. Our market was too small.
  2. We just couldnt figure out how to effectively monetise. We implimented a few monetisation features, however, customers just werent willing to pay for it
  3. We created unnecessary costs for ourselves and spent our limited funds covering those costs.
  4. Inability to be able to focus on one mini-project and seeing it through before moving on. We were always quick to change course at the slightest challenge.
  5. At a point, we started chasing the wind. What doesn’t concern us o, we saw ourselves chasing.
  6. We had serious management issues. Implimentation of decisions was very slow and this was because founders argued and argued on what direction to take over time. We barely ever agreed on anything.
  7. We ran out of funds and then slowly, we saw life began to drain from us.
  8. Over time, we all got discouraged and worn out
  9. We realized late that Hubrif would have been a brilliant project as a Social Not-for-profit initiative. Perhaps we would still have been alive if we treated it as such.
  10. At the height of it all, I had to take a stand. Either to keep petting an almost dead horse or move on to help nurture a newborn horse. I chose the latter.

I hope my experience can serve as a lesson to my fellow founders. I am sober, sad and a little depressed to see my baby die but encouraged by the fact that there is always a new day to start afresh. Right now, am giving my all to cartehub where I am at present. Learning is never-ending.


#2

You’re quite lucky to be out with that decision in time.
In the mean time you may want to read The Afrostream story about a similar venture.


#3

Yeah. I came across the Afrostream story a few months back. Its a brutal environment. Even though their cost was off the chart, ours was reasonably minimal but the foundational challenges is still the same.


#4

And what are the fundamental challenges? You simply went on a direction that was hard to monetize or perhap execution issue? Yet someone else is diving into streaming … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ypzq3wkThnw @dotun.o


#5

Truth be told, you severely handicapped your chances of success by going into a capital-intensive sector without the accompanying boatloads of capital.
Some sectors are impervious to “disruptive” ideas alone (video being one of them).
Many sectors are “un-disrupted” or “un-disruptable” at the moment for valid reasons, not because there are a shortage of disruptive ideas.
Also, being an African x (VoD) in a capital-intensive sector y (video/streaming) is a very bad place to find yourself as a venture without the backing of deep (read very deep, almost bottomless) pockets (Hubris).
Looking back at your introductory post, I see a lot of thumbs up & attaboys. I’m wondering how many of them patronized you?


I hope prospective founders will learn to choose their ventures more carefully so we can have less of these "What I learnt" obituaries. > Well, from Radar it came & to Radar it returned.

#6

Thanks for your openess on what caused your business’ demise. One thing that stood out for me is the issue of a revenue model. Start ups need to address this really quickly with brutal honesty. They need to deal with the world as it is while hoping they can change it. If no one is currenlty making money based on a model you are targetting, what makes you think you will? If you have an extemely compelling answer and blind faith, then great.

Also a lot of successful tech based companies started with a huge monetization problem. I just read a book about Alibaba. Jack Ma said they struggled for years trying to find a monetization model. So did Facebook when they were making the move from desktop to mobile. If they didn’t have patient capital they would have certainly died off.