Accepting failure, and moving on

It’s an entrepreneurs dream – building something amazing, and only going up from there. I started building Terml.io in early May of 2015, this month starting 6 months since its launch, and this is its story.

I think every young entrepreneur is under the impression that it’s easier than it seems. Or at least I was. You read a hundred articles and stories that all say the same thing – “You will fail, and that’s okay.” And now, admitting Terml.io is a failure from a business perspective is hard for me. I’ll admit, many students have benefitted from the service, and I have as well, learning a lot about developing, user research, production-ready deployment, all valuable things to know in the real world, but from a business side, it didn’t work out, and for these reasons.

  1. I entered in to a very niche market, if you would even call it a market. Premium had limited features, with Quizlet integration and downloading a PDF – not quite as compelling as it needs to be to attract many customers, and it wasn’t a service people would use every day so ad hosting is hard. Terml.io experiences more of a spike around test time rather than a constant flow which causes a lot of downtime in activity.
  2. Marketing is much harder than it seems. I started out with the mentality of “Alright, I’ll gain a Twitter following, then I’ll run some promotions. New users will come.” No. That’s NOT how it works. Well, I assume in a way it is, but it’s not that easy. There needs to be much more planing in it, you need to have a goal when you’re marketing, and you need to know how to grab their attention. At the initial concept level, I had 200 views on my blog post. This led to a skewed expectation of numbers and led to what seemed like (and was) very slow growth.
  3. Lastly, the expectation. This is one where I’m not really sure how to explain it. I knew I wanted to grow it into a business, but I had huge expectations and a large imagination of what was to follow. I was definitely over estimating the demand for the product (or user adoption rates at least) and expected to make a lot more money than I did. Although it’s important to focus on building a business, I think a major part is taking a step back and saying “Let’s build a really cool product that people love to use.”

I think that’s a really great quote to leave off on. In fact, I love the idea behind it.

“Let’s build a really cool product that people love to use.”

It is the idea of working really hard for a product you can be proud of, and just building cool stuff. Don’t be afraid to fail as a business, as an entrepreneur, as an investor. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and start a business, but don’t let that take control. Focus. Stay passionate. Stay committed to what you believe in – the product, the people, the mission. Fail once in a while, and suddenly what I’m telling you, along with the thousands of other posts that say the exact same thing that I never understood will make sense. You’ll learn valuable information. Use that to grow.

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Accepting failure, and moving on

One thought on “Accepting failure, and moving on

  1. irowebbn says:

    ‘ You read a hundred articles and stories that all say the same thing – “You will fail, and that’s okay.”’

    That’s why you should use Medium/Quora/startup Twitter only
    in moderation

    Like

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