TeeBeeDee

Network for people over 40 to share experiences
Startup Cemetery
GENERAL INFORMATION
Category:
Social Media
Country:
United States
Started:
2007
BUSINESS FAILURE
Outcome:
Shut Down
Cause:
Bad Business Model
Closed:
2009
FOUNDERS & EMPLOYEES
Number of Founders:
4
Name of Founders:
David Markus, Jon Brandt, Robin Wolaner, Todd Basche
Number of Employees:
10-50
FUNDING
Number of Funding Rounds:
1
Total Funding Amount:
$4.8M
Number of Investors:
2

What was TeeBeeDee?

TeeBeeDee was a social network launched in 2007 that was aimed at people over 40. It was well built and designed featuring many of the elements that made others social networks successful. The network’s CEO, also the founder of a parenting magazine, sought to bring forth a network that appealed to baby-boomers in which they could share insights and learn from each other.

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Why did TeeBeeDee fail and shut down?

As the network’s CEO put it “the site’s business model wasn’t able to grow its user base big enough and fast enough to survive”.

Middle-aged people might have signed up out of curiosity but the platform probably didn’t have the same traction and influence that sites which aim at a younger demographic have. It’s more likely that it is mainly teenagers and people in their twenties who are more prone be active in online social platforms, inviting friends, sharing content and spending time on it. LinkedIn is an exception here. LinkedIn has a user base of 192 million users who are aged 30 and over, yet the network was successful and gained traction because its central focus was on building business connections. It was later able to transform part of its users to consumers by offering premium plans, acting as a recruiter company and introducing business-oriented courses. TeeBeeDee had nothing of the sort and it was essentially an interesting place to go to when you had some time (i.e. not very much when you are an adult with a family and a work overload), instead of a place that you had to or needed to check every day.

And lastly, within few years of TBD’s launch, a plethora of social networking sites emerged and TeeBeeDee’s site views kept declining. The project failed to gather ulterior funding and it shut down in 2009.

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