Published on Jun 14, 2017 in Startups
In the beginning it was easy.
Our simple idea was that in an increasingly data-centric world, event organisers where still in the medieval age lacking a data-driven decision making approach. They would, in the best scenario, fumble around with huge spreadsheets telling them nothing about the actual behaviour or level of engagement of their attendees.
EventNinja was our solution to that problem: a one-click integration for Eventbrite users to analyse all their data and present them with meaningful reports. Before we had even built the prototype Eventbrite reached out to us.
It sounded like a great idea. We were incredibly excited.
Our goal was to build a platform where event promoters can identify, reward and mobilize their top customers.
We asked ourselves why nobody has thought of that before.
We spent 3 months building the platform ensuring both design and functionality were slick. We built what was (and arguably is) the most advanced analytics platform for Eventbrite. 15 metrics tracked in almost real time plus a new generation CRM built specifically for event organisers and their needs. Eventbrite even featured us on their homepage and in their marketplace (Spectrum).
We started getting a few paying customers and Eventbrite put us in its presentation for their internal annual conference.
We worked hard and were terribly proud of the result.
We came far and we thrived in many ways — but we also faced challenges.
Flash forward 13 months. Today we are closing down the company.
Despite our partnership with Eventbrite, we have failed to find Product/Market fit and create a sustainable business.
I don’t usually write about personal things, but in this case I think writing will help me analyse and understand things better. So here they are, the lessons I have learned over the past 13 months.
Founders are usually shy of talking about their failures. They just want to disappear. And I am no exception. It’s not easy to write about this.
But I do believe that by sharing experiences we can all get better and feel a bit less lonely. For me, writing helps me see things in perspective. In life we don’t get only one shot. Life is full of opportunities. You just need to be ready to take them and I believe that by learning from our mistakes we become better people.
Before I finish this post, I cannot forget a couple of thank yous.
Thank you to Eventbrite, which has been great all the way through, supporting us in any possible way. It’s a great company full of generous talented people and the first ones to believe in us.
Thank you my friends, who have been there for me and from whom I’ve learned so much.
Thank you Anthony, the best business partner I’ve ever had and, most importantly, you have been a true friend. If I’ve learned so much in these years it is because of you and the books you recommended me to read. You pushed me to challenge my thinking and by doing so you have made me a better person.
Thomas Edison famously said:
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Because in life you never really fail. You learn something new and grow as an individual. Because in the end, it’s never THE END.