8 Startups With Great Ideas That Failed

Last Updated on May 19, 2023

Broken rocket on a blue computer keyboard key button

Every great startup started with a great idea. However, having a good business idea does not guarantee, its success. There is so much that goes into the success of a startup other than its great idea. So many entrepreneurs believe that having a great idea is the foundation of the whole business and they are right to an extent. However, there is so much more that goes into the success of a startup, so it is no surprise every year, we are flooded with startups that failed, even when they had such great ideas.

Technology can feel like magic, but the magic wand has none of that. Google, iTunes, WebMD, Facebook, etc. all came after other companies had similar ideas but weren’t ready for the long term. Small cracks, whether in timing, management, or ego, can lead to great ideas failing. A startup mistake is another startup opportunity. Here are 10 classic startups that failed but should have succeeded.

1. Friendster

Friendster is considered one of the first social networks that ushered in today’s social networking era. A year before Tom Anderson’s Myspace, he was founded in 2002 and has raised nearly $50 million. The site was so popular that Google offered to buy the company for $30 million, but the offer was turned down (still considered one of his biggest mistakes in startup history). provided). Friendster failed because it didn’t do what we do with social media so much right now, which is: Share the news. It was profile-based and didn’t show anything new unless you went directly to another friend’s page. If Friendster had focused more on this sector, it might have taken a little longer in the social media wars and wouldn’t be the gaming site it is today.

2. Color

Color wanted to be an innovative photo-sharing app that merged users’ photo streams based on location and close friends. This was a unique idea at the time of the rip-off, and Color had the funds to back it up. The works were there: $41 million from investors, a website, an office, and lots of hype. It had everything but a really user-friendly app. When the app was released, users were frustrated by the lack of interface and privacy features. Co-founder Peter Huang resigned shortly after launch, and the company struggled to redesign rather than fix its problems. Color was revived as an app that allows Facebook users to stream videos live from their phones to their social networks, but Color has been shut down due to damages. You cannot build a house if the foundation is constantly changing.

Read: What are the Top Funding Options for Startup Ventures?

3. Fashism

You probably expected a swastika in a service called Fashism. Or even if you somehow understood the fashion relevance from the “vogue” part, you might have thought it had something to do with the Nazis. guess what? No one on the fascist team thought of that.

Also a fun fact: Ashton Kutcher invested in fascism. Fascism was a service for getting feedback on fashion choices from the community (mostly ordinary people). Most of the users were US teenagers looking for feedback on school uniforms, and like the founders, they didn’t know what fascism meant. But fascism worked well for them in 2010–2012, and they even had enough money to switch to e-commerce. Use common sense when naming startups and products. Honestly, nobody was truly surprised that fashism thwas among startups that failed. I mean, did you see the company’s name.

 4. I Am Rich

Every app store on every platform is full of useless apps. But most of them are eliminated by the algorithm used by the platform regarding user votes, comments, downloads, etc. Since free apps have the highest number of downloads, most of these apps are also free. But there was one legendary app that sold for $999. That’s the maximum amount Apple has allowed for the first and only day, and the screen contains nothing but a glowing red gem and an icon that tells you to press it to reveal the next mantra. In the big text: “I’m rich; I deserve it; I’m good; I’m healthy; I’m successful.”

After its August 5, 2008 release, Apple retired the app on August 6. In one day, app developer Armin Heinrich made $5,600 and Apple $2,400. The following year, Heinrich published I Am Rich, LE. The new $9.99 app includes several new features (such as a calculator, a “help” system, and a “famous spellless mantra”) to meet Apple’s requirement for apps to have “definable content.” A year later, Google Play and Windows Phone Marketplace also acquired the same app from another developer. Lessons learned: Don’t be these people. Neither the manufacturer nor the buyer

5. Webvan

In 1999, Webvan was one of the first companies to try to turn online grocery sales into a business. It was a great idea, and we know Americans love to have things delivered. Webvan even offered to deliver groceries to customers within 30 minutes. big! But Webvan didn’t like it as much as they had hoped. Webvan CEO George Shaheen said by 2003-2004 he believed 35% of his customers would buy groceries online, so he opened warehouses to prepare for a hypothetical influx of customers, It ordered trucks and purchased dozens of expensive computers for its office company. No customers came, and Webvan was discontinued in 2001. Amazon recently revived Webvan, and many startups are using the grocery delivery service.

Webvan was an absolutely genius idea, and it is something people would rush to do now. A lot of people are looking to buy groceries online. We think what killed Webvan was “time.” The internet was alive, but not alive enough for people to trust their groceries with it. If they had put more time into building trust with their customers, online grocery shopping would have worked later, for a fact. Either way, Webvan started something that was meant for the future, and now, in the future, we realize how genius it is.

6. Boo.com

Burn, baby, burn. This is exactly what the UK-based Boo.com did in his late 90s, spending over $135 million. It was among the startups that failed. Boo masqueraded as an online fashion store in his 1998 investment bank; he was backed by JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs. The site was founded with the goal of being a cool and chic digital hub. Fortune magazine named him one of the coolest companies in Europe before launching Boo. With so much potential, the founders had lofty goals and wanted to sell their products in about 18 countries. But back then, the internet was young, and only about 20% of people in the UK were online. The company built itself too quickly to sustain itself unless people flocked to the site. It closed two years later, in 2000.

Boom.com is another example of a startup that failed because it did not tailor their startup business for their era. They were looking down into the future, and quite honestly, that is not a bad thing. However, for a startup in an era where people have not envisioned such growth, it is bound to be a failure. People will not easily buy into what they do not understand. The idea would have probably worked better if they introduced it slowly to their customers, one little thing at a time, to show them how much better and easier the business could make things. instead of just unleashing the internet’s superiority on people who did not fully understand it yet.

7. Pay By Touch

Pay By Touch is just about the wrong captain at the helm. Since its inception in 2002, pay-by-touch has allowed users to pay for items with a simple swipe of their finger on a biometric sensor. Revolutionary, to say the least. It was the future of payments. Within a few years, the company had raised $340 million and counted NFL player Drew Bledsoe among its investors. But during the company’s most successful year, CEO John P. Rogers was accused of domestic abuse, drug possession, and taking company funds for his own use. One investor said he was “worse than a drunken sailor.” By 2007, Pay by Touch had been discontinued.

This company is among the many startups that failed due to their owners. Self-sabotage in business is a real thing, and this was evident in Pay by Touch. Being innovative and disciplined is a great skill in business, but having discipline is an even better skill.

8. WebTV

WebTV started as a convenient combination of the World Wide Web and television but unfortunately became one of the startups that failed.

Founded in 1995, WebTV came out as a VCR-sized box that promised to bring affordable internet access to your living room without a PC. Sales stagnated, but it grew until it was acquired by Microsoft in 1997 and renamed MSN TV. But by that time, their web browsing (via dial-up), email, and TV had become obsolete. The idea was there, but too ahead of its time. Broadband wasn’t ubiquitous, and there wasn’t the “wow factor” to paying $425 to check email on the TV. Now, basically, devices like the Xbox 360 and DVR have WebTV capabilities.

It is so sad to see, that most of the startups that failed, went downhill because they came up at the wrong time.

Before you go…

Hey, thank you for reading this blog to the end. I hope it was helpful. Let me tell you a little bit about Nicholas Idoko Technologies. We help businesses and companies build an online presence by developing web, mobile, desktop, and blockchain applications.

As a company, we work with your budget in developing your ideas and projects beautifully and elegantly as well as participate in the growth of your business. We do a lot of freelance work in various sectors such as blockchain, booking, e-commerce, education, online games, voting, and payments. Our ability to provide the needed resources to help clients develop their software packages for their targeted audience on schedule is unmatched.

Be sure to contact us if you need our services! We are readily available


Never Miss a Post!

Sign up for free and be the first to get notified about updates.

Join 49,999+ like-minded people!

Get timely updates straight to your inbox, and become more knowledgeable.