Top 5 failed projects for business – startup graveyard
Not all startups become successful: the first ones do not stand up to competition, the second ones turn out to be unprofitable, and the founders of the third ones are scammers at all. This article will tell you about events that could not become reality, but these ideas failed.
VSSHA has launched an online store of “deceased” startups. Dead Startup Toys is a set of monuments to failed business ideas, the prototypes of which were spent millions of dollars. We have collected five of the most interesting “exhibits”.
Juicer: a machine for filling packaged juices
This startup was launched in 2016, when juices were much more popular than they are now. At one time, Juicer raised $120 million, and among its sponsors were respected venture capital companies, including Kleiner Perkins and Google Ventures.
The Juicer machine consisted of many specially made customized parts that made up the fundamentally incorrect mechanics of the machine. All this resulted in a huge cost with the absolute uselessness of the car.
The Bloomberg review was fatal for the project, in which journalists proved that a person would be much more effective at coping with the task performed by Juicero at a cost of $ 400. (You can also read our article about what ideas for business and web applications should be implemented)
Theranos minelab: Fake home blood test device
This startup was completely based on money frauds. For a long time, the company has been building its activities on falsified reports and invented results, selling a completely non-working medical device in the form of a black box. Theranos minilab was supposed to simplify blood testing and help recognize diseases such as diabetes or cancer.
In 2016, The New York Times published a study of several medical organizations about all the violations recorded in the laboratory of Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the startup. Theranos had previously been accused of improperly collecting tests and falsifying results. Holmes admitted that her ideas did not work, but insisted on further development of her developments and attracted investors. Investigations into the Theranos case have shown that the results of studies obtained in the laboratory of Elizabeth Holmes differ significantly (by 21-146%) from those generally recognized.
Theranos has attracted $700 million in investments from venture capital and private investors. In 2013-2014, the company’s market value reached $10 billion.
Coolest cooler: cooler, speaker, battery and blender in one device
The Coolest cooler was a whole station: everything necessary for outdoor recreation was collected there — a cooler, a speaker, a battery and a blender. Having failed to collect money on the Kickstarter platform in 2013, the Coolest cooler relaunched in 2014 – largely due to a strong marketing company.
Unfortunately for the author of the idea, the cooler was not ready for its popularity. By pre-order, such a device was available for only $185. Production stalled immediately – having completed only the first part of the orders. In an attempt to generate revenue, the creators of the Coolest cooler began to sell it at retail, and also tried to inflate the delivery price.
In 2016, the US Department of Justice in Oregon launched an investigation into the case of the Coolest cooler in connection with illegal trading practices. According to the court agreement, the company had to return $20 to its sponsors. It is not known whether the investors received the money, since the Coolest cooler was already bankrupt by that time. (If you want to start your own business, read our article, which form of business is better to choose)
One laptop per child: digital literacy for children
When the idea of digital literacy was synonymous with teaching programming in elementary school, the One laptop per child project received the support of a large number of technology companies. A laptop could be bought for as little as $100 — that’s what attracted people.
To create such a gadget, the developers used materials donated by sponsors — that’s just all of them were mostly outdated and unclaimed on the market. The interface of the children’s laptop was completely individualized, and the gadget itself worked on a Linux system, users described it as “slow”, “clumsy”, “often broken and difficult to repair”.
Despite its failure, One laptop per child has created a niche for the development of projects such as Chromebooks. In 2011, Chromebook became a new laptop model. The developers called it a netbook and suggested not downloading applications to the device’s hard drive, but opening them simply with tabs in the browser.
Jibo: A companion robot
Jibo was a high-tech companion robot with an expressive face and an anthropomorphic body. On the Indiegogo platform in 2014, the project raised $ 2.5 million. But, unfortunately, like many successful projects that sought support on this crowdfunding service, Jibo fell into a trap: delivery delays, inflated volumes. Fakes were produced faster than the real product.
By the time the company started shipping, it had already earned a bad reputation with annoyed customers. But, nevertheless, in 2017, the Times magazine named Jibo one of the best innovations of the year.
The startup failed due to the appearance of cheaper analogues on the market: for example, Amazon Echo had most of the “social” functions of Jibo (could talk), but, unlike this robot, could connect to the Internet and supported the Amazon ecosystem. And its cost was ten times lower than that of Jibo.