My startup Bluenose is no longer.
After 4+ years of trying, it just didn’t work out. We ran out of money and couldn’t attract more investment.
There are many, many people to thank for their support along the way. My wife, my co-founder, investors, friends, employees, mentors, customers, etc. “It takes a village” to birth a startup, irrespective of the outcome.
There are also many, many people to apologize to. As CEO, the ultimate accountability for success and failure resides with me. I’m sorry to my investors for losing their money. I’m sorry to my employees present and past for letting you down; you saw Bluenose as a vehicle to realize a personal objective and you probably didn’t. I’m sorry to our customers for not giving you a solution that fully met your needs.
You might ask “why did Bluenose fail”? That’s a question I’ve asked myself almost daily for this entire journey. It’s tempting to explain it all away with a few neat bullet points. I’m pretty sure the root cause is some combination of internal mistakes of mine and external market conditions.
Perhaps the better question is “what did you learn?” That might take a book to write given all the things I’ve learned. A few things a startup will teach you:
- things you didn’t know about yourself. The extreme nature of the situation (risk, uncertainty) will reveal you in many ways
- things you didn’t know about others. You’ll become a student of human nature as you watch others react to those same extreme conditions
- the need for focus in the face of extremely scarce resources
I expect that I’ll write more about this experience later. Perhaps for my own catharsis. Perhaps to help others learn from my experience. For now, it’s too early. The wounds are too fresh. And it’s time to find something next to do.