Biggest Startup Failures Of 2015

    The best way to learn controlling, is through your own experience however; another working method is to understand what works in real business world and what does not.

    2015 has been the year of failure for many startups and below is the list of 10 responsible entrepreneurs who produced powerful lessons for newcomers. Pay attention

    Do also read our other articles on Startup

    1. Prioritizing the Cost for Your Startup
    2. Rise of India as a Startup Nation
    3. What is more significant to a Startup; Founders or Employees?
    4. Reasons Why You Should Work In A Startup At Least Once In Your Life
    5. 5 Reasons Why One Must Not Work In A Startup?


    1. Ryan Grepper (Founder and CEO, Coolest)

    Coolest registered itself as the second most profitable Kickstarter campaign and raised over $13 million by 2014.

    However; today Coolest is selling its coolers on Amazon to fulfill the commitments made to supporters and broadly, to keep the things going.

    Well, they can still feel happy as the product exists in the market; yet the user feedbacks are quite disheartening due to poor product quality and support.

    1. Sean Rad (Founder and CEO, Tinder)

    The in and out of Sean Rad within the industry makes him a perfect follower of Dov Charney American Apparel), Chip Wilson (Lulu Lemon) and Michael Jeffries (Abercrombie).

    It has been reported that Rad has some serious issues that might build disastrous situations for his parent group, especially when it’s a public company today.

    1. 50 Cent (Rapper and industrialist)

    Curtis James Jackson III, also known as the entrepreneur rapper “50 Cent”, made matchless success on a record label, on a clothing line and as an actor as well.

    He also made riches worth $100 million from investments in a vitamin water company, later acquired by Coca-Cola.

    In 2015; he filed for bankruptcy protection. We are still wondering what went wrong with him. Well; it’s the lack of financial responsibility, means he spent off the limits.

    1. Ivan Reedman (Co-Founder and CEO, Torquing Group)

    Few months back, the Zano Drone maker raised more than $3.4 million; quite huge for an European Kickstarter Project. Yet the filed voluntary liquidation lately which means they are bankrupt.

    And now you can see, they are abandoning most of their 15,000 investors without the Zanos they funded for. Well, to be honest, this is the kind of trouble you invite if you invest into some high-risk startup.

    1. Dan Price (Founding CEO, Gravity Payments)

    Price ran a 120 people credit card processing company and suddenly, decided to raise the minimum annual salary to $70,000 over a three-year period.

    That story went viral in the market however; against the company as the idea of leveling the field removed certain incentives for managers

    The situation got worse when Bloomberg revealed that such activities may have been selfish; also the massive payroll increase can very well push the company towards bankruptcy.

    1. Ellen Pao (Former Interim CEO, Reddit)

    Ellen Pao’s reign as an interim chief was sympathetically short-term and there are quite obvious reasons for it.

    During her tenure of eight months, she demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of the website and the entire Reddit community.

    Pao needs to learn a lot from her tenure at Reddit; especially that business is all about serving the stakeholders.

    1. Tony Hsieh (Founder and CEO, Zappos)

    Tony grew the online retailer brand to $1 billion and instead of enjoying the success, he sold it to Amazon, to go on with his weird management structural experiments.

    In 2015, he switched to a debatable organizational system with no managers or titles, known as Holacracy. The result was resignation from about 14 percent of the employees and the rest are still trying to figure out their jobs and payments.

    1. Gurbaksh Chahal (Founder and CEO, Gravity4)

    Chahal is known for his self-destructing actions in a spectacular fashion. After pleading guilty to two domestic-violence charges and getting fired by the board of RadiumOne on the eve of a planned IPO, he is still making appearances.

    The egotistic entrepreneur is back in the news with a new assault arrest, a gender discrimination and harassment suit and allegations of epic pill-popping. Are you still looking for more?

    1. Maren Kate Donovan (Former CEO, Zirtual)

    This leading virtual assistant startup was doing pretty well until it decided to convert the contract staffs into full-time employees. That was the biggest mistake which crashed and burned the business.

    Sadly, that outcome was escapable. We have already discussed the number one reason of business failure is nothing but running out of cash. The founders and startup owners must viscerally understand it first.

    1. Elizabeth Holmes (Founder and CEO, Theranos)

    The iconic Elizabeth Holmes created history when she raised $400 million at a mammoth $9 billion assessment and made a huge PR splash. She put a lot of efforts to upset the $76 billion lab diagnostic industry.

    And then one fine day; the Wall Street Journal broke a story asking about the efficacy and accuracy of their technology and since then, Holmes has been under fire. A clear case of over publicity and under performance.

    The Bottom Line:

    The above cases are true examples for some of the most common downsides that any entrepreneur can face. Take it as a lesson and if you rightly follow the links, you will learn a lot more.

    The most important point is, these are all smart and capable people with rare exceptions. And their stories explain how difficult it could be to build a successful growing business.


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