An anonymous author wrote a post title We’re Shutting Down and I’m Scared over at startupsanonymous.com:
After over two years, backing from a well-known accelerator, nearly one million in funding and a decent amount of traction, we’re shutting down.
I’m scared. I’m also sad, disappointed, ashamed, embarrassed & deflated. But mostly just scared.
This struck a nerve. I remember going to Ohio for a trip in 2007. It was September and I remember taking a walk with my dad and just feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders. I admitted that after 10 years it was likely the end for Infinity Softworks. Sales had plummeted 80% in the past two year, our new product had bombed, and I had laid off most of our team. I was exhausted and devastated. I had failed everyone: my family, my investors, my team, my customers.
I also had no clue what I was going to do. My programming skills were on platforms that no one cared about and my management skills were all based around starting a business, a group that has no money. I was worried about how I would pay for my family to eat, let alone keep a roof over our heads.
Somehow things resolved themselves. One employee stayed and the iPhone opened to developers and one of my investors was interested enough to lend us some money. We rebuilt.
In some ways our situation is better today, and in some ways it isn’t that different. The difference now, though, is that the skills are transferable and in demand, Infinity Softworks has revenue that isn’t going away, our expenses are about as low as a company can go, and we have designs on an amazing new service that we think we can build a company around again. Even if this falls apart, there is a little money, skills and experiences that will be in high demand. I know I will land on my feet.
I also know that if it wasn’t for those dark days in 2007, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Thanks for a moving post. I’ve been a customer since palm pilot days and I think you do amazing work – if there were any justice in the world that would translate to financial success, but as a small business owner myself I know that it doesn’t necessarily! Do have confidence that your work has been really good and useful, and has spawned huge loyalty … At least from me.
Thanks, Das! That is very nice of you to say. And I do know we have hugely loyal customers. That was one of the things that hurt when thinking about walking away all those years ago.