Remember that long-gone product that you made your life better? We all have a special memory book of those products that have come and gone out of our lives like an ex-BFF. Well chances are that if the product was cool enough for you to remember then it probably wasn’t the technology that lead to its demise. It is more likely that the downfall of the company was due to inexperienced management, poor product/market fit or some other reason that was completely avoidable. Either way, it is a darn shame! When a technology fades, innovation is disrupted. This is a loss to society.
We don’t do this in our personal lives. Why do we allow this to happen in business? When you are in the process of building a house, for example, and during this you find that the bedroom windows are not designed to open, and you being a fresh-air fiend will never be able to sleep in that room, you don’t simply stop work, walk away and abandon the house. You change the plan to include windows that open and move forward with construction. This is obvious. Why then, do we not make the same types of adjustments to the business plan with our start-ups?
Below are five technologies – some probably “before their time” – that died an early death, but might have been saved if Tech-Rx had been there to help.
Sonific was a streaming music widget that enabled users to embed free, licensed music onto their blogs and social network profile pages that didn’t necessarily support or offer music widgets. Was going completely offline necessary? Or was another revenue model possible for Sonific to pursue?
MyKinda was as an Eastern European country-specific blog network that covered business, politics, culture, lifestyle, science and technology in local languages and English. MyKinda kinda crashed but was it avoidable? Was the marketing plan solid enough to attract advertisers?
Dodgeball.com was a social networking company before social networking was cool. Sure, it was aquired by Google but was Google the right fit? Didn’t Google lead Dodgeball.com to their death?
LetsBuyIt.com was one of the first online group buying services. Although they are coming back as a completely different creature, with the right pivot they could have preceeded Groupon!
Sixdegrees.com was another dying social networking site prior to the Facebook days. What held them back? Could the right strategic partnership allowed them to live a bit longer?
Do you remember any of these technologies? Can you think of any more? Add your favorites to the list.
-Steve Hogan, Managing Partner, Tech-Rx