My 25 Failed Startups

In chronological order, followed by a few major lessons learned from all of these experiences combined.

  1. Heated Windshield Wipers — to help defrost cars (2002)
  2. Touch-screen Drive Through — so you can just press a button to order stuff at a drive through instead of talking to the person. (2002)
  3. Digital Price Tags — to let stores change product prices faster (2003)
  4. Sprinklers with Fertilizer Built In (2004)
  5. Toothbrush with Water Gun Built In (2005)
  6. Drink ‘n Drive — golf driving range with bottle service (2006)
  7. “Smart” Picture Frames — sell to hotels; display family photos from Facebook when you arrive in your hotel room for family vacation (2007)
  8. LecShare - integrate twitter hashtags into classrooms to help professors collect feedback on their lectures (2008)
  9. College Bike Share Program (2009)
  10. Selling Ads on Coffee Cup Sleeves (2010)
  11. SpeakerFund — Website where students can contribute/raise money towards flying in a guest speaker to come to their school.
  12. Group Discounts at Coffee Shops (2011)
  13. Twitter breathalyzer — app to gauge how drunk you are based on your twitter activity (2011)
  14. Threads — App that centralizes all of your active comment threads across social media sites (2011)
  15. Marco Polo — App that lets you check ‘out’ of places, to show where you’ve been rather than giving away where you are, as opposed to FourSquare. (2011)
  16. Status — App that lets you check in to a state of mind… and see who else around you is happy, sad, energized, drunk, etc. (2011)
  17. TopStickr — Whiteboard sticker for the back of your laptop (2012)
  18. Chai Town — coffee shop with a membership model (2013)
  19. Neighborhood Refrigerator — a large centralized refrigerator shared by your neighborhood (2013)
  20. — craigslist for chirag (2014)
  21. — Private Facebook for Northwestern Students (2014)
  22. — Get paid to tweet about brands (2015)
  23. Chess Clock Time Tracker — physical device for your desk that tracks how long you are working vs. not working (2015)
  24. Earvertise — a media company that sells audio ads in place of hold music (2015)
  25. — automated e-mail introductions for professional networking within university alumni communities. (2011–2016)

Share your startup failures at and come hang out at NoD if you ever wanna learn more about any of mine!

5 Key Lessons Learned

  1. Order matters — first validate, then build, then sell, then raise outside money (if it makes sense)- NOT the other way around.
  2. No one cares about your “million dollar idea” — go make a sale and then tell me about it.
  3. Business plans (by themselves)= 100% guess work = 200% bull shit.
  4. Anything is possible — you have no idea what you’re capable of until you try.
  5. There are no winners in the waiting game — if you’re waiting for something to happen, you’re doing it wrong. Get out there and make it happen. No excuses!

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You don’t get to 25 failures without creating a few successes. Read about them here

If you’re in Dallas and need a place to set up shop, check out my coworking space — NoD Coworking at 17290 Preston Road (Dallas, TX 75252).

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