Secret failure

Secret

Online platform to share personal secrets

Description

Secret was an Android and iOS app that allowed users to post content anonymously with their circle of friends or share it with a wider public. The app gained interest - and was at one point valued at 100 million- because it provided an outlet to those that didn’t want to be bound by the ‘real name’ rule of other social applications and face consequences for sharing their opinions and preferences. It also distinguished itself from other anonymous apps in that its interest factor for users could be higher since they knew that the person that shared a certain post on the app was someone that was in their contact list or circle of friends. The app became very addictive and some users said they routinely went through the motion of uninstalling the app only to install it again soon after that. The app was especially used in Silicon Valley.

Stats

Category
Social Media
Country
United States
Started
In 2013
Closed
By 2015
Number of Founders
Two
Name of Founders
Chrys Bader-Wechseler, David Byttow
Number of Employees
Between 11 And 50
Number of Funding Rounds
3
Total Funding Amount
$35M
Number of Investors
21
Precise Cause of Failure
Legal Challenges
Business Outcome
Shut Down

Cause of Failure

The number of active users of the app rapidly declined after only 18 months from its launch.

After the initial thrill and interest of the users, a more negative and unpleasant use of the app emerged. Users, under the cloak of anonymity, engaged in all forms of cyberbullying and harassment. Secret moderators stated they weren’t ready to deal with the flood of negative posts and inappropriate behavior.

As cyberbullying stories increased, so did the media news that covered such stories. A court ruling in Brazil even banned Secret from the country deeming it unconstitutional since although free speech was allowed, free speech (and the harassments that said speech could contain) should not be anonymous.

The app lost traction and was eventually suspended.

Go on Reading

Other Startups

LuckyUnicorn t-Shirts
We've just launched 20 limited edition Failory t-shirts. Click here to buy one!

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.

Secret

Online platform to share personal secrets

General Information
Category
Social Media
Country
United States
Started
In 2013
Business Failure
Business Outcome
Shut Down
Closed
By 2015
Cause of Failure
Legal Challenges
Founders & Employees
Number of Founders
Two
Name of Founders
Chrys Bader-Wechseler, David Byttow
Number of Employees
Between 11 And 50
Funding
Number of Funding Rounds
3
Total Funding Amount
$35M
Number of Investors
21
Description

Secret was an Android and iOS app that allowed users to post content anonymously with their circle of friends or share it with a wider public. The app gained interest - and was at one point valued at 100 million- because it provided an outlet to those that didn’t want to be bound by the ‘real name’ rule of other social applications and face consequences for sharing their opinions and preferences. It also distinguished itself from other anonymous apps in that its interest factor for users could be higher since they knew that the person that shared a certain post on the app was someone that was in their contact list or circle of friends. The app became very addictive and some users said they routinely went through the motion of uninstalling the app only to install it again soon after that. The app was especially used in Silicon Valley.

Cause of Failure

The number of active users of the app rapidly declined after only 18 months from its launch.

After the initial thrill and interest of the users, a more negative and unpleasant use of the app emerged. Users, under the cloak of anonymity, engaged in all forms of cyberbullying and harassment. Secret moderators stated they weren’t ready to deal with the flood of negative posts and inappropriate behavior.

As cyberbullying stories increased, so did the media news that covered such stories. A court ruling in Brazil even banned Secret from the country deeming it unconstitutional since although free speech was allowed, free speech (and the harassments that said speech could contain) should not be anonymous.

The app lost traction and was eventually suspended.

Go on Reading

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
DotCloud

Enabled developers to host, assemble and run their applications

Software and Hardware
Bankruptcy
$13.7M
Mismanagement of Funds
Software and Hardware
United States
In 2008
By 2016
One
Between 251 And 500
Between 10M 50M
Mismanagement of Funds
Bankruptcy
Secret

Online platform to share personal secrets

Social Media
Shut Down
$35M
Legal Challenges
Social Media
United States
In 2013
By 2015
Two
Between 11 And 50
Between 10M 50M
Legal Challenges
Shut Down
PoliMobile

Empowered campaigns with the power of mobile

Marketing
Shut Down
-
No Market Need
Marketing
United States
In 2011
By 2015
One
Between 1 And 10
Nothing
No Market Need
Shut Down
Vine

Platform to share short looping video clips

Social Media
Shut Down
No Data
Multiple Reasons
Social Media
United States
In 2012
By 2017
Three
Between 51 And 100
No Data
Multiple Reasons
Shut Down
Sharingear

Marketplace for musicians to rent their instruments

Music
Shut Down
€15K
Multiple Reasons
Music
Denmark
In 2014
By 2015
One
Between 1 And 10
Less Than 1M
Multiple Reasons
Shut Down