The Startup Graveyard: A Place to Remember And Learn

That’s a fun project to build!

And yet, it has become a reality. Reaching the top spot in Product Hunt back in May, and getting lots of mentions from outlets all over the world.

What is it? It’s a site dedicated to failed startups.

Complete with colored coffin vectors, rockets in flames, css, company names, and the reasons the teams behind them didn’t make it.

So, what’s the idea here?

Well, the site is created as “ a resource for entrepreneurs to avoid making the same mistakes as failed startups”. It’s a really cool database. A great idea. With a sad aftertaste perhaps.. But useful for research, nevertheless.

Why did they fail?

Oh, all sorts of reasons. Lack of funds, bad tech, bad implementation.. the list is very long and quite detailed. You can spend a lot of time there if you need the research. Or just because you’re qurious.

And if you take a closer look, you will identify a common pattern in many cases. A reason, often overlooked by the founders of these startups. A reason that can take many forms.

Lack of focus. Lack of urgency. No real pain. Not a clear vision (or Unique Selling Proposition)

If you spend some time there, you will see these reasons popping out all over the place. And they are all symptoms of the same problem.

Bad copy.

Bad copy can mean different things in different situations. It can mean no company mission page. A decent one, that is. A page explaining what our greater vision is. Not what solution we found to a problem. The big picture as we see it. This is the first thing any startup (or innovator) should to. Find this one first. Then talk about solutions, pains, and explain what you do. And prove it works!

It can also mean bad conversion copy. A bad homepage, a vague landing page, or mediocre website copy.

It can mean no “about us” pages. Who are we? What’s our story? How did our past and our experiences brought us here? If my clients don’t know my story, my influences, my journey, and my “crazy” habits, how can they relate to me?

How can I fix this?

You need to start writing.

About you.

Your big idea.

Your company.

Your daily routines. Your hopes and dreams. The things you saw today and made you smile (or furious).

And you need to fix your site’s copy (if it needs fixing). Copy is paramount today. Equally important.

In a world full of noise, your stories and the way you talk to your tribe are deal makers -or breakers-.

Your stories can define you. So use them to your advantage.

I know, many founders put these things aside. Focusing on the technical part. Not enough time, right? Or money.. Or not important.

And so we see many companies with a one pager.. Saying something cool.. Which makes no sense to the world.. But it’s cool.. Like a cool dragon..With flames coming out of his mouth..

Or we see a page with a name and nothing else. These are the companies way “cooler” than the ones above. Sometimes they don’t even tell you what to do or where to go.. Go to the app store? Search on google for more info?

You know what I’m talking about.

You’ve seen it so many times.

The thing is..

If you don’t think your story is important enough..

Why should the rest of the world think your product or service is important enough for them to care.

So, give your stories some credit. And start telling them. Because people actually care. They are curious. Who are the guys that made this? What makes them tick?

And if your idea has ended somewhere inside the Startup graveyard, you can try again! Besides, a bad decision is not a mistake. A mistake is making the same bad decision twice -or more, depending on how selfish you are-.

Be safe everybody!

Leo.