Failure of a success

Let’s redefine the success and failure of a startup

If success is defined by creating awesome products, we created apps that have been downloaded 15 million times across iOS, Android, and the Mac App Store.

If success is defined by people using the product, we still have over a quarter of a million users actively using our apps around the world.

If success is defined by making money for the business, we put in our bank account $1 million in total revenue.

If success is defined by having investors believe in your team, your business, and your product, we successfully raised capital from the top super angel and angel investor in Silicon Valley.

We are the first company from Vietnam that got accepted to the most prestigious accelerator program in the world.

From 90 countries around the world, our Whiteboard app won No. 1 in the Dragon’s Den Pitching Competition by the World Bank’s infoDev.

We could list countless press and media coverage from all around the world.

But here is what we could not do: we simply failed in creating a scalable business!

There are so many lessons learned from this journey. Five years is not an overnight success nor failure — our team has been working incredibly hard to deliver the best apps for our users with limited resources.

This blog is not an explanation but rather an appreciation to our supporters. I’m thrilled by all the support I received from everyone from Vietnam to Silicon Valley — from finances to time, especially our co-founders, teammates, advisors and investors. Our users have been the biggest inspiration for us to continue developing many awesome apps for the last five years.

If you still remember my pitch: “We already made $1 million. Let’s talk about $1 billion.” Maybe one day that statement will come true, and I’m still working very hard on that. However, it will not be with my GreenGar chapter.

This is not the end …

This is the new beginning for GreenGar’s members .

Over the years, we grew up with all of your love and care — from many people that we met intentionally and randomly. To us, that’s the bigger success of our journey!

In the last four months, our biggest challenge was to make a decision about our apps. There are hundreds of thousands of people still using them every month, including many schools from kindergarten to university. We decided to leave the apps on the App Store and Google Play for our beloved users, but there will be no further development nor support.

Thank you for your understanding. See you in my next chapter shortly!

June 2014 — By Thuy Muoi — The last CEO of GreenGar