Epic Startup Failures That Teach the Most Important Lessons

Epic Startup Failures That Teach the Most Important Lessons

Chhavi Firani 16/11/2019 6

The competition in today’s world is increasing in every field, especially in business. So everyone is thinking out of the box for a new startup. But success of a startup is not certain.

Sometimes the greatest and the most creative ideas fail.

As a matter of fact, 92% of the startups fail before actually succeeding. But that does not mean your startup can never be successful. Sometimes, all you need for success is failure. This means you can learn some very precious lessons from the failures which will help your startup to outshine.

There are numerous examples of startup failures around us. Here are some of the epic startup failures and the lessons learned from them.

Social Net

SocialNet was a social networking site founded by Reid Hoffman (Founder of LinkedIn) in 1997. This site would help people to connect with friends online.

Hoffman wanted his product to be the biggest success of all times. He wanted his site to be full of various features during the release, so he put in all his efforts in creating the site.

But his startup failed and he had to shut it down shortly after release.


  • He launched his product in 1997 when only 18% of households had internet access and there were no smartphones.
  • He tried to launch a perfect product in the beginning, this delayed his launch by a year.
  • He added a lot of features in the site before release but after the release, numerous features proved to be useless and there were many important features that were missing.

Lesson - One should always get to market quickly with an imperfect product. Launching early will let you grow among the competitors. The launch of an imperfect product will also help you to improve with the help of feedback and suggestions, thereby saving time, money and effort required to build a perfect product at once.


Beepi.com was an online site launched in 2013 that dealt in car buying and selling. The company rose very quickly and even got $60 million series B funding in 2015.

But the company was finally shut up in 2017 after suffering huge losses. Mistakes 

  • The company was launched in 2013 when there were a lot of online competitors.
  • There was poor leadership and management. Almost $7 million were spent on the salaries of employees and their luxuries per month.

Lesson - Money should be spent carefully. Most of the startups fail because they run out of money. Proper management leads to the success of a startup with minimum investment.


Juicero was a luxury juicer launched in 2013 that could be connected with wi-fi. The juicer was initially priced at $699 and came with different flavoured juice packs to squeeze. The company even earned $118.5 million after the launch.

But the negative comments from the press made the company decrease the price to $399.

However, the company was shut 16 months after the launch.


  • The company launched the juicer with juice packs and it actually just squeezed the juice out of these packs. So, there was nothing innovative.
  • The price of $699 was too much for such a thing.

Lesson - The product should always be user tested before the launch to work on the negative feedback. Moreover, the product should never be overpriced otherwise customers lose their willingness in opting for your product.


Released in 2019, Google Wave wanted its users to communicate and collaborate. It allowed multiple users to edit the same document at the same time or for group discussion.

But this product turned out to be a great failure.


  • Google was unable to explain the purpose it served. Hence the users were not able to understand its actual use.
  • The product was too complex for the users to use.

Lesson - The product should be explained well among the users to benefit the users completely. The product should also be simple and easy to use as users do not prefer complex products.


Found in 2006 by Peter Justen, MyBizHomePage was an online site that helped companies to to keep track of their finances. The company was initially successful and was even valued $100 million at one point.

But Peter has issues with the company’s CTO which resulted in multiple attacks.


  • The site security was not strong which lead to multiple attacks and crashes.
  • The backup data was also compromised resulting in shut down of the company.

Lesson - Web security is extremely important for any company and also to gain confidence of the clients. Moreover, the people to work with should be the people you can trust.


So, these were some of the biggest startup failures. All these examples prove that every startup has to face various challenges and it is not mandatory that after facing these challenges, the startup will succeed. So, it is better to be cautious and learn from other’s mistakes than your own. 

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  • Scott Adams

    Juicero was overpriced

  • Harry Ramsbottom

    Every entrepreneur should read the Art of War and apply it in their start up.

  • Lee Dabbs

    It's very easy to get intense funding in this day and age.

  • Jack Meldrum

    Timing and planning are the most important things to consider while launching a successful product.

  • Terry Doran


  • Carl Richie

    Totally agree!

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Chhavi Firani

Tech Expert

Chhavi is the Founder and Partner at Dikonia. She is passionate about delivering beyond expectations and crafting rewarding experiences.  Her company provides innovative IT solutions including custom SaaS offerings that streamline workflow as well as development and design services in keeping with latest buying and market trends. Chhavi holds a Master of Computer Applications from Punjabi University.

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