Yet another great read Jon. Being a cofounder myself, I know exactly what you are talking here. There are multiple reasons for people to shut down their business. In spite of creating the best product, many a times due to the fact that you can’t guarantee the required ROI, you might have to let go the best employees you had, which will lead to the product quality being hampered, which will lead to even lower ROI.
I totally agree with you on the fact that startup are never fun rides, and they are not an overnight success. Nor are they a cash minting machine. It takes years of perseverance and toil to get things fixed and then your startup excels.