We decided to discontinue with our startup without even launching it.
All of us were really excited about redefining existing Cloud Storage services. We are a team of five people. A perfect team of three developers, one designer and one business person. Along with good chemistry of team and compassion for building kick-ass product.
All the ingredients you need to build a kick-ass product from India.
Though we did a lot of things right.
We made mistakes in Market research and Product Market fit.
Before I tell you about that, I will have to tell you brief background about myself, it might help you understand where I come from.
A small town boy. A privileged kid who was lucky enough to clear one of the prestigious exams of India. And despite many challenges, graduated in time. Started on the journey with what we call a conscious mind.
Worked with a fast growing startup since its start. Saw the full cycle of a startup starting from its initial challenge to its boom in the market to its downfall due to various reasons.
For me it has always been a hunger for challenge. When my current job stopped challenging me enough, I sought to do something of my own. I knew with my past experience and learning, I could build a great company.
And I will.
Getting back to the mistakes:
1. Market Research: Of course, we did market research but somehow we were distant from the idea of consumer preference and did not put them together.
2. Product Market Fit: I was wrong when I assumed users will use our solution and will be willing to pay for the same. We were providing convenience of making your existing cloud storage secure.
Who would want that? Many.
But who would want it when they have to let go of some added advantages of public cloud storage? and has to pay for it. Tough sell.
Despite common belief, I am a risk averse person. I take calculated risks. And after above realizations it would have been too risky to continue with our existing solution.
So the next logical step was to pivot, since we were a great team and were in flow.
But when pivoting, one needs to not fall in the trap of classic Gambler’s Fallacy(Something I learnt from my statistics classes). Our future actions should not be affected by our past ie at the point of pivot an entrepreneur needs to let go of his attachment and past work but rather think from a fresh perspective to build the startup.
Of course, this practice is very subjective!
No doubt, we did a lot of things right, followed all the right steps, created scalable processes, took care of company culture and values, communicated, respected individuals.
And also took right action when realized our mistake.