July 15, 2014
A great American orator once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Unfortunately for some, Ricky Bobby isn’t the smartest character in cinematic history. Startups tend to believe the key to success is being the first one on the scene to provide a service or product. Yet for one organization application startup, Springpad, being first was the worst thing they could’ve done. Described as “Pinterest two years before Pinterest entered the market”, Springpad allowed users to find and organize recipes, movies to watch, home improvement projects, and interior design projects. They were ahead of the curve- anticipating market needs and creating a user-friendly app way back in 2008.
Tragically for Springpad, they were actually too early to the market. Mobile apps had not yet blossomed into what they are today, and because of this, Springpad struggled to monetize their product. Officially closing its doors this past June, Springpad was unable to foresee customer buying habits and willingness to pay.
While stories like this don’t come around too often, it just goes to show that just having a strong product is not enough. For long-term success, a company needs a strong foundation with a solid business strategy. It’s tough to sprint marathons, so start slow, develop an impregnable strategy, and finish strong.
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