Formspring failure

Formspring

Encouraged people to get to know

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.

Stats

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

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

Other Startups

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

Design Inc.

Marketplace for high-quality design work

Design
Shut Down
$2.3M
Bad Business Model
Design
United States
In 2016
By 2017
Two
Between 1 And 10
Between 1M 10M
Bad Business Model
Shut Down
Maple

High-quality food delivery startup

Food and Beverage
Acquired
$29M
Bad Business Model
Food and Beverage
United States
In 2014
By 2017
Two
Between 101 And 250
Between 10M 50M
Bad Business Model
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
Sprig

Online app that provided healthy organic meals

Food and Beverage
Shut Down
$56.7M
Competition
Food and Beverage
United States
In 2013
By 2017
Four
Between 51 And 100
More Than 50M
Competition
Shut Down
Admazely

Easy-to-setup retargeting for web shops

Marketing
Bankruptcy
$600K
Lack of Funds
Marketing
Denmark
In 2011
By 2013
Four
Between 1 And 10
Less Than 1M
Lack of Funds
Bankruptcy
EventVue

Built online communities for conferences

Finances
Shut Down
$455K
Bad Market Fit
Finances
United States
In 2007
By 2010
Two
Between 1 And 10
Less Than 1M
Bad Market Fit
Shut Down