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Startup Cemetery

A big resource for entrepreneurs and startup owners, in which we have collected and analyzed why +100 big companies have failed. Learn from mistakes, and avoid being part of the 90% of businesses that fail.

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Berg

Commercialized cloud services for hardware innovators

General Information
Category
Design
Country
United Kingdom
Started
In 2005
Business Failure
Business Outcome
Shut Down
Closed
By 2014
Cause of Failure
No Market Need
Founders & Employees
Number of Founders
One
Name of Founders
Matt Webb
Number of Employees
Between 11 And 50
Funding
Number of Funding Rounds
1
Total Funding Amount
$1.3M
Number of Investors
2
Description

Berg was a cloud platform on which Little Printer, an Internet-of-Things device, worked on. Berg allowed users to print out interesting news from the web, social media, etc. across devices. Little Printer looked like a receipt printer but could be used as a social letterbox, targeting mainly families. It produced little retro style printed papers that could be used for various purposes. The competitors of Berg’s Little Printer were Turtle Mail, Ink and Memo Bird.

Cause of Failure

Berg had an interesting journey from the boardroom to folding the business; they tried to change their business model a couple of times halfway through it but to no avail.

Besides the fact that the product that they created served a very limited market need (if ever a need was there) paper consumption and the creation of waste was an element that turned many people that cared about the environment away.

Berg’s little Internet of Things device had a small group of supporters, which, while loyal, could not convert into a sustainable way to maintain and manage the business. People also argued that the advertisement put out by Berg failed to show how the little printer working on the Berg platform could improve users' life. It was, objectively speaking, more a luxury item/toy rather than a device that anyone would need.

While print newspapers are struggling to continue their existence, it was hard for Berg to convince people that they needed the Little Printer in their homes. Moreover, publishing content through the Little Printer would need to weigh in the design factor of the publisher’s needs. Only certain type of contents could fit on the receipt-size paper the device could print. Also, because of its size, the commercial sector would not be that interested in it.

However, people can be irrational and buy products on a whim only because they are cute and “new” but the price tag given to Little Printer made the product even more difficult to sell. Berg’s CEO also admitted that one of the main reasons for his company's failure was that they priced their products at above the level of consumer’s willingness to pay, $259; pretty expensive for a toy.

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OpTier

Cloud-based enterprise software business

Analytics
Shut Down
$118.1M
Bad Market Fit
Analytics
United States
In 2002
By 2014
Two
Between 51 And 100
More Than 50M
Bad Market Fit
Shut Down
HitMeUp

Developed mobile marketing applications

e-Commerce
Shut Down
£50K
Lack of Experience
e-Commerce
United Kingdom
In 2011
By 2015
One
Between 1 And 10
Less Than 1M
Lack of Experience
Shut Down
Flowtab

Mobile app to order drinks on nightclubs

Food and Beverage
Shut Down
-
Bad Business Model
Food and Beverage
United States
In 2011
By 2013
One
Between 51 And 100
Nothing
Bad Business Model
Shut Down
Aria Insights

Air vehicles for search and rescue missions

Software and Hardware
Shut Down
$39M
Multiple Reasons
Software and Hardware
United States
In 2008
By 2019
One
Between 11 And 50
Between 10M 50M
Multiple Reasons
Shut Down
Sidecar

Provided B2B delivery transportation network

Transportation
Acquired
$45.5M
Competition
Transportation
United States
In 2011
By 2015
Two
Between 51 And 100
Between 10M 50M
Competition
Acquired
Zirtual

Dedicated virtual assistants for busy professionals

Software and Hardware
Shut Down
$5.5M
Mismanagement of Funds
Software and Hardware
United States
In 2011
By 2015
Three
Between 101 And 250
Between 1M 10M
Mismanagement of Funds
Shut Down
This is Brought to You by:
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Acadium

Acadium

120 hours of digital marketing from a remote apprentice for only $299 (+ $50 off!).

This could be your AD. Sponsor Startup Cemetery to reach +10,000 entrepreneurs.

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