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Interview with a Successful Startup Founder

WorldOs: A Product Nobody Cared About

Lucas Gonze
Lucas Gonze
March 17, 2018
Category of startup
Software & Hardware
Country of startup
United States
Revenue of startups
Interview with a Failed Startup Founder

WorldOs: A Product Nobody Cared About

Lucas Gonze
Lucas Gonze
March 17, 2018
Category of startup
Software & Hardware
Country of startup
United States
Cause of failure of the startup
No Market Need

WorldOS was a P2P infrastructure provider. Lucas tried to productize a buzzword, but was not solving the right problem.

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Hello Lucas! What's your background, and what are you currently working on?

I was a programmer for about ten years, then a manager for another ten. My niche is the intersection of tech and music, and I’m currently working on data services related to music.

 

What was WorldOS about?

WorldOS was a P2P infrastructure provider. The time was 2003 when there was a new wave of P2P apps like Napster, Gnutella, SETI@home, and BitTorrent.

 

How did you grow WorldOS?

I coded the first version on my own, then recruited partners to work with me. One was a business person whose job was fundraising and product marketing. The other was a designer whose job was making things look good.

The company was funded on my savings, which came from my previous business, which had made a nice profit on outsourced web development.

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Which was the problem with WorldOS? How did you realize?

I was in a good early position on a largish tech trend but misunderstood that could lead to customer demand. I was trying to productize a buzzword.

 

What were the mistakes you made?

I didn’t talk to customers nearly enough. My vision didn’t solve the right problem.

What were your biggest disadvantages?

In retrospect, I was building tech for tech’s sake. I thought I was being a hard-nosed realist, but in reality, I was making something because I thought it was beautiful. My illusions and vanity got in my way.

If you had to start over, what would you do differently?

There is an endless number of little things I did wrong, but few big ones. More school would have been useful - couple more years of computer science, accounting, sales training.

 

What's your advice for someone who is just starting?

Cashflow is everything. As long as you can keep paying the bills, you are in a position to grow.

Be brutally honest about deals. Know the truth. You don’t have to tell other people, but you have to understand it for yourself.

Understand the self-interest of everybody offering anything. That goes double for people on the investor side.

 

Where can we go to learn more?

You can learn more at my website.

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