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.

Formspring

Encouraged people to get to know

General Information
Category
Social Media
Country
United States
Started
In 2009
Business Failure
Business Outcome
Shut Down
Closed
By 2013
Cause of Failure
Legal Challenges
Founders & Employees
Number of Founders
Two
Name of Founders
Ade Olonoh, John Wechsler
Number of Employees
Between 11 And 50
Funding
Number of Funding Rounds
2
Total Funding Amount
$14.3M
Number of Investors
13
Description

Formspring was an anonymous Q&A forum. The platform saw a rapid growth on its launch: 1 million users in less than two months. It allowed people to anonymously ask questions and send messages to other users without having to sign up.

Cause of Failure

As with any other platform that gains its attraction for its anonymous features, Formspring’s users rushed in, but as the user base increased so did the problems that were associated with anonymity. Cyberbullying came to the level that several teen suicides were linked to the bullying that took place on the site.

The startup tried to remedy by collaborating with the MIT Lab to search for a way to discourage cyberbullying. Eventually, the site had to limit the anonymity feature but that meant that it would lose its appeal, users started decreasing and growth simply froze.

If success leaves clues, so does failure. Many platforms that focused solely on anonymous interactions had to pull out the plug because of the predictable type of behavior that people tend to have when they can’t or don’t have to be accountable for their actions, even when those actions directly endangered the psychological or physical well-being of another human being.

Go on Reading

Theranos

Consumer healthcare technology company

Health
Shut Down
$1.4B
Legal Challenges
Health
United States
In 2003
By 2018
One
Between 11 And 50
More Than 50M
Legal Challenges
Shut Down
Sip

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Education
Shut Down
Nothing
Multiple Reasons
Education
United States
In 2018
By 2019
Three
Between 1 And 10
Nothing
Multiple Reasons
Shut Down
Kiko

Ajax-style online calendar application

Productivity
Acquired
$50K
Bad Management
Productivity
United States
In 2003
By 2008
Two
Between 11 And 50
Less Than 1M
Bad Management
Acquired
Fuhu

Designer and seller of cloud-served softwares

Software and Hardware
Acquired
$66.2M
Mismanagement of Funds
Software and Hardware
United States
In 2006
By 2015
Three
Between 501 And 1000
More Than 50M
Mismanagement of Funds
Acquired
QBotix

Solar panels attached and regulated by robots

Software and Hardware
Shut Down
$23.5M
Multiple Reasons
Software and Hardware
United States
In 2010
By 2015
One
Between 11 And 50
Between 10M 50M
Multiple Reasons
Shut Down
Stayzilla

Indian homestay network

Travel
Shut Down
$34M
Lack of Focus
Travel
India
In 2005
By 2017
Four
Between 251 And 500
Between 10M 50M
Lack of Focus
Shut Down