I confess, my expectations kicked me in the butt again: i thought I’d see a shower of thank you’s in the responses. Instead naysayers.
So here is a big thank you and a tap on the shoulder saying
“you tried to solve a really hard problem, not bad”
First, only these types of experiences can crystallize such good advice. Someone will pick up and carry on. Eventually technology will help people achieve their dreams. Your work will be invisible by that time but rest assured it will also be ingrained in the new assumptions.
Second, in reality there is never a “singleton like” problem that kills a good business. There are always an army of small critters chipping away at the foundation or into the core of the business.
These postmortems are essential oil for business critter killing spray.
Some parts of a postmortem should be printed and framed. Every novice startup baker out there could in this way be reminded that a good idea and an excellent execution will not shield you from failure: rats live very well in the most exquisite mansion, termites will feast on your Napoleon furniture just as well. The army of critters will be chipping away.
Your investors saw the problem you were solving and trusted you can solve it.
People feel like an investment, angel, series or whatever, is like someone gives you randomly a pile of cash. But it isn’t. It is a bet that smart people make on your ability to solve a problem. No one should feel bad about “wasting investors money” unless they’ve spent it buying caviar for their dog. Otherwise, all the money is well spent, especially if at least takeaway nuggets of wisdom for the next attempt are produced. Zero ROI is not bad investment, necessarily. It can be, but not by default.
There are startups that currently still have leeway and are making the same mistakes you’ve outlined. There are people eager to go for it, who glance over their future and don’t have a clue about what is really like.