RethinkDB – Database scalabile per il web in tempo reale

RethinkDB – Database scalabile per il web in tempo reale

RethinkDB

Scalable database for the real-time web

General Information
Category
Software and Hardware
Country
United States
Started
In 2009
Business Failure
Business Outcome
Acquired
Closed
By 2016
Cause of Failure
Bad Market Fit
Founders & Employees
Number of Founders
Two
Name of Founders
Michael Glukhovsky, Slava Akhmechet
Number of Employees
Between 11 And 50
Funding
Number of Funding Rounds
4
Total Funding Amount
$12.2M
Number of Investors
16
Description

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.

Cause of Failure

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, enough,
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).

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Gowalla – Guida sociale per le città del mondo

Gowalla – Guida sociale per le città del mondo

Gowalla

Social Guide to world’s cities

General Information
Category
Social Media
Country
United States
Started
In 2007
Business Failure
Business Outcome
Acquired
Closed
By 2013
Cause of Failure
Competition
Founders & Employees
Number of Founders
Two
Name of Founders
Josh Williams, Scott Raymond
Number of Employees
Between 11 And 50
Funding
Number of Funding Rounds
3
Total Funding Amount
$10.4M
Number of Investors
11
Description

Gowalla was a location-based social platform website and app that allowed users to check-in and share with others their location. It was launched in 2007 and had as a major competitor Foursquare, also a location-based app. The latter, however, has had way more success and currently boasts a user base of 45 million people while Gowalla shut down in 2012 as it reached 600,000 users.

Gowalla’s main feature was the check-in option for its users when they were close to certain “Spots”. The platform also gamified and encouraged users to actively share their location. Users could achieve a higher role and gain access to certain features if they demonstrated a high level of engagement with the app and sometimes received “items” that were provided by partner companies as promotional tools.

Cause of Failure

When the Gowalla team realized that their competitors in the
check-in service were far ahead of them, it reinvents itself and tried to come
up with a different design which was to support the newfound focus as a
traveling and storytelling platform.

The main problem with Gowalla seemed to be that it tried to do
and be too many things at once, whereas Foursquare, for one, focused on one or
two basic services that users would infallibly go back to.

Gowalla had a better design
and was aesthetically more pleasing, and yet FSQ, which launched in the densely
populated New York, saw a rapid growth because users recommend it to their
friends for the check-in and rewards features it offered and received social
validation for using it, since ‘everyone’ was using it.

Funding was also probably
not the main problem for the startup as Gowalla raised 3M in investments and
partnered with giants such as Disney, National Geographic, and several major
U.S. Universities.

Gowalla’s team joined
Facebook in December 2011. Facebook claimed that it acquired the app but that
it wouldn’t make use of the user data that it had generated over the years. FB
representatives stated that they were rather more interested in partnering with
the developers that brought forward the startup since they shared similar
values and vision and could help enhance certain aspects of FB’s platform.

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Turntable.fm – Piattaforma interattiva online per DJ e ascoltatori

Turntable.fm – Piattaforma interattiva online per DJ e ascoltatori

Turntable.fm

Online interactive platform for DJs and listeners

General Information
Category
Music
Country
United States
Started
In 2011
Business Failure
Business Outcome
Shut Down
Closed
By 2013
Cause of Failure
Bad Business Model
Founders & Employees
Number of Founders
One
Name of Founders
Billy Chasen
Number of Employees
Between 1 And 10
Funding
Number of Funding Rounds
1
Total Funding Amount
$7M
Number of Investors
10
Description

Turntable.fm was an online interactive platform on which DJ, fans and casual listeners were brought together. People could choose avatars for themselves, browse different music rooms and create a playlist.

Cause of Failure

The
company shut down its services two and half years after its promising launch in
order to conserve its remaining venture capital to focus on the live version of
their startup. The cost of running this music service proved to be too
expensive and was not financially viable for them. Turntable.fm decided to play
licensed music which proved to have drained their time and capital. Although
the platform originally raised $7.5 million as soon as they started to
expand internationally things got out of hand. They also weren’t fast enough to
adapt to the new mobile era.

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Sidecar – Rete di trasporto di consegna B2B fornita

Sidecar – Rete di trasporto di consegna B2B fornita

Sidecar

Provided B2B delivery transportation network

General Information
Category
Transportation
Country
United States
Started
In 2011
Business Failure
Business Outcome
Acquired
Closed
By 2015
Cause of Failure
Competition
Founders & Employees
Number of Founders
Two
Name of Founders
Jahan Khanna, Sunil Paul
Number of Employees
Between 51 And 100
Funding
Number of Funding Rounds
5
Total Funding Amount
$45.5M
Number of Investors
21
Description

Sidecar was a transportation company based in united states (US). It was founded a couple of years after Uber but was never able to catch up with it despite the fact that it had a good product built on solid technology. One of the features Sidecar introduced was that of enabling riders to set their own price. In general, the app of the company offered much more control over their riding experience both for drivers and riders.

Cause of Failure

Sidecar had the
top-notch technology but no marketing strategy. Car-hailing services depend on
the traction present in the market and the network of drivers and passengers
that they build. Sidecar could only become useful – and profitable – if there
was always a high density of drivers and users. This is mainly where Sidecar
failed. Unlike their giant competitors (Uber and Lyft) they didn’t invest
enough to market their product and gain customers. Uber reportedly lost almost
a million in its first 6 months while it heavily focused on acquiring
customers. Sidecar didn’t have the backup funding to do that on a similar
scale.

Also,
instead of focusing on its powerful technology and the empowerment their app
gave to its users, they tried to place themselves as an affordable alternative
to Uber, which didn’t really work for them. Weeks after shutting down on
December 2015, though, they were acquired by GM.

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Kiko – Applicazione di calendario online in stile Ajax

Kiko – Applicazione di calendario online in stile Ajax

Kiko

Ajax-style online calendar application

General Information
Category
Productivity
Country
United States
Started
In 2003
Business Failure
Business Outcome
Acquired
Closed
By 2008
Cause of Failure
Bad Management
Founders & Employees
Number of Founders
Two
Name of Founders
Emmett Shear, Justin Kan
Number of Employees
Between 11 And 50
Funding
Number of Funding Rounds
1
Total Funding Amount
$50K
Number of Investors
1
Description

Kiko was an Ajax-style online calendar application that offered advanced features that included API integration with other websites and applications on the Internet. The app was particularly helpful to business professionals, event organizers, etc. One of the best features of the Kiko calendar app was that it had a user-friendly UI and it was possible to access one’s calendar from other computers with it. Kiko granted users the ability to invite and share calendars and events with anyone.

Cause of Failure

Kiko lasted for just three years.
The founders have moved to work on other projects, but they explained the
reasons for their startup’s failure in a post.

The first reason according
to one of the founders was that their team had wanted to work on various ideas
and plans at the same time, this diverted their attention from their main
project and ended up creating delays. The CEO admitted that they were too slow
at times and wasted time on unnecessary things and neglected other matter that was
instead crucial. To make it worse, they hired a wrong team member which
affected the company’s productivity as he didn’t complete any task and
disappeared for months. Failure to involve investors and seek their guidance
from the beginning was also another blunder.

The software that powered
Kiko was put for sale on eBay and it was bought for $258,100 in an auction.

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