Some Lessons from a Struggling Startup

Found this (h/t BusinessPundit.com) blog entry that tells of the trials and tribulation of a startup — mycarpoolstation.com — that is struggling. Lets learn something from their difficulties. From the entry,

We did not find the perfect product/market fit.
My original vision, circa 2005, was “to supply web-based, community-run carpool stations to schools, workplaces, and regions in the U.S. and Canada” (i.e. to build a Facebook clone but for carpooling). We would make money off ads exclusively. By the time we finished building our Alpha in 2007, we ran out of resources and realized that we needed to build something different to execute my 2005 vision in 2007/2008: we needed to build a Facebook app, an OpenSocial app, a stand-alone website, and offer enterprise-branded carpool stations with an API. Of course, if you’re bootstrapping you’re going to have to build traction and release these one at a time. The business model would probably change as well. It would be ad-based for app users and membership-based (with no ads) for website users and enterprise users. There’s also the possibility of a token-based economy.

One thought on “Some Lessons from a Struggling Startup

  1. It is interesting the way things work. It all depends on how grand the vision is. For instance I started off with a vision of an entire carpooling application complete with fares and groups and car selections in 2005. And now I have ended up with what this guy started off with – a web based community run application. I’ve cut about 90% of the features, but I have ended up with a product that everyone can use. It all depends on where you start and what you have to work with. Since I did almost all of the development the only resource I lost was time.

    Brian Bass
    Creator of RideSearch.com

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