Business model · Tech startups

Is there a repository of failed startups (re-usable startups idea)?

Harpreet Singh Senior QA Engineer (Freelancer)

December 12th, 2016

I was wandering if someone keeps records of failed tech/internet startups and their codebase?

Maybe it's not a bad idea to go back and re-use some of the failed startups whether it's a codebase or just a business model. I found a lot of reason for failed startups but not many use cases - mostly scattered around the Internet.

If someone would built such a database would you contribute your failed business model and codebase?
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Marc-André Launière Conseiller en gestion / Travailleur autonome

December 13th, 2016

Check the crowdfunding platform such as kickstarter, idiegogo, etc...

Mike Robinson

December 12th, 2016

IMHO, companies usually fail not with a bang but a whimper.  Typically, the company goes into a zombie phase, with the founders trying to hang on and keep it alive. They may get other jobs or do consulting to pay the bills, but they keep the corporation alive and hang onto the code base in hopes that something will come along to revive their dream. By the time they finally give up on it, the technology has become aged and there is probably nobody around to put it into a repository such as what you are envisioning. 

To put it another way: If anyone has the time, energy, and know-how to put the idea and the code into a repository, then that person probably still believes in the idea and they are probably trying to hang onto the dream of finally making it happen.

Just my impression...

Kelly Kuhn-Wallace Tech startup consultant, founder coach.

December 14th, 2016

autopsy.io is a startup that attempted to do this. The latest update is from late 2015. I suspect autopsy.io will soon have a metaphysical problem to solve. Pity.

Product Hunt has a RIP tag. It can save you from an hour of fruitless googling.

Deadpool is more useful because the data is so current, albeit not without potential bias.

Or use this search string in google: my startup failed site:medium.com. The 3,840 results would be a goldmine for text analysis. And more.

I discourage strategy/founder coaching clients from reading this stuff. No big secrets to reveal about why--just practical ones. First, startups are hard. Focusing on what is working (or not) in your own startup pays greater dividends than learning what didn't work in someone else's.

Yes, there's an argument to be made for using these stories as inspiration. Brainstorming. Data. In the world where I ask what steps a founder took to address a growth block, though, those 3 hours were procrastination. And that's the second reason. Procrastinate if you need to but do something uplifting. Don't read about people who failed to climb the cliff you're hanging onto for survival. Whhhyyyy?

As for mining the deadpool for startup ideas, I wouldn't do it. Starting with potential customers or clients always seems to work out better. (Opinion, no data.)

Stephen Cataldo

December 12th, 2016

I'm in discussions about designing something like this (along with other tools) for hackathons... in this case especially for cause-oriented projects, so the 21st effort to stop fake news from going viral can learn from the first 20. 

In my experience there are a ton of startups that fail (including mine) because the team wasn't sufficient. Founders start out fully alive and with big dreams (which makes it hard to join, people aren't looking for equals when they launch their baby), and eventually it becomes something of a forced march. There might be a moment when big dreams and big egos are dropping enough that insufficient teams could be combined. I think a ton of social enterprises that would make 3x instead of 10x fall into this range: the ideas are good enough for good people full of passion to work on them, but not good enough for investors, so they need bigger teams of founders. 

If anyone here wants to work on something like this together, or volunteer with the people working on improving politics and political news where this is one of the things they want to do, write me. 

Dane Madsen Organizational and Operational Strategy Consultant

December 12th, 2016

CB Insights keeps a record of failed startups as viewed by their founders and employees. No code, just great looks at what went wrong. Mostly - over estimated the market take rate, competitors with better traction, underestimated the cost and degree of difficulty. Great insight. Dane Madsen Dane@DaneMadsen.com 206.900.5852 Mobile Sent from my mobile device. Forgive typographical and grammatical errors.

Sam McAfee Building Popup Incubators for Corporate Innovation Programs

December 12th, 2016

I would definitely find something like this useful. Agree it'd be a nightmare to manage alone, but as a research project, it'd be very illuminating. Specifically, if we could look at failures in product / market fit (not execution). Then, we might see if with changing tech trends or market changes, certain users/customers' desires adjust over time so that old ideas might be ripe again for another attempt. 

To me, that's useful. There is already plenty of material out there about execution and funding related failures. It's the product-market stuff that's most interesting to me. It doesn't have to be complicated; even a wiki-like page of startup name, what was the idea, how many pivots and why, and what ultimately killed them.

Anyway, I am happy to participate if someone else leads.

Chicke Fitzgerald

December 12th, 2016

It would be a bear to manage.  But I've had the same idea over the years.