It is actually a great disservice to others to romanticize basic failure with trite platitudes.
If you’ve read much, you’ll find there is a well-worn genre of such literature that follows the same formula of “awesome folks, worked hard, fought the good fight, made a few people smile along the way and our pioneering sacrifices will eventually pay off for the greater good of mankind… “
None of them say, “We were kidding ourselves” when they clearly were.
The simple, clear lesson is that they had no idea what they were doing from both a problem-solution and company development point to of view. They were very immature in their approach. They didn’t do their homework and didn’t learn any lesson from the hundreds of similar preceeding company failures (and there are hundreds… diet, smoking, exercise, project management, MOOC’s, even Quicken) which a truly problem-solution -focused founder would have studied to realized the solution was something different than they and everyone else has tried. (see “Getting to Plan B” by Komisar)
But personally, I learned something from this recap. It made me realize that, after yet another romanticized view of immature stupidity, that in fact what all these failures have in common is that they are in fact “lifestyle start-ups”. (or in Peter Thiel’s jargon, “playing house”)
We always heard lifestyle companies are ones which can’t scale and are only good to support a few long term salaries. But here in I realize that most founders (and perhaps investors) are not in it for really solving a problem, but rather to create a start-up lifestyle, and not a serious venture, and just hope to get lucky. If they had, write-ups like this would be more objective and focus on the root cause of failure.