RethinkDB

Scalable database for the real-time web
Startup Cemetery
GENERAL INFORMATION
Category:
Software & Hardware
Country:
United States
Started:
2009
BUSINESS FAILURE
Outcome:
Acquired
Cause:
Lack of PMF
Closed:
2016
FOUNDERS & EMPLOYEES
Number of Founders:
2
Name of Founders:
Michael Glukhovsky, Slava Akhmechet
Number of Employees:
10-50
FUNDING
Number of Funding Rounds:
4
Total Funding Amount:
$12.2M
Number of Investors:
16

What was RethinkDB?

RethinkDB was an open-source database, the first of its kind that makes use of a distributed and scalable NoSQL database. RethinkDB was built from its inception for real-time web applications. It provided solutions to make processes faster and more reliable such as using live push updates instead of the traditional and slower polling for data in queries.

Ad

The Founder's Mindset

Unlock your potential as a founder. Discover the mental strategies that the best startup founders use to build successful products. In this video series, we’ll guide you to think like a top startup founder. Get free access to The Founder's Mindset →

Why did RethinkDB fail and shut down?

RethinkDB founder highlighted in a postmortem some of the reasons for which he believed his company failed to thrive despite that fact that they had a good product.

Choosing the ‘wrong market’ was mentioned as one of their major mistakes. Since the beginning they were taken by their clients as being an open-source tool and pretty much no one wanted to pay for it. If a substantial price barrier would have been put, users would have probably searched for another tool in the ocean of free and open-source tools that other developers make available. Another major blunder was that despite they focused on seemingly important metrics, these weren’t the metrics users and clients were primarily interested in. Their ‘metrics of goodness’ according to the startup were releasing a flawless product (and yet their successful competitors at MongoDB became very popular even though they had an initial buggy product), design a simple interface, and database consistency. On the other hand, customers wanted the products to be available as soon as possible (they had to wait almost 3 years for RethinkDB), speedy performance, and a good and tried way to store JSON documents and create reports.

Fortunately, RethinkDB technology won’t fall into oblivion as it has been acquired a couple of months after its 2016 shutdown by the Linux Foundation (CNFC).

Go on Reading

The All-In-One Newsletter for Startup Founders

Every week, I’ll send you Failory’s latest interviews and articles, curated resources for founders, and updates on how I’m growing the site to $10k/mo. Join other +7,000 startup founders!