In an effort to avoid (hopefully) ever having to do a postmortem because my company actually failed, I’m doing a premortem with the intent of identifying potential problems early on. For a bit of context, my company focuses on a new type on online community.
My company failed. What went wrong?
- I didn’t try hard enough/wasn’t focused enough
- Audience was adverse to change
- Didn’t hire the right support people at the right time
- Didn’t get funded
- Couldn’t build features fast enough
- Didn’t prioritize features correctly to start
- Marketing strategy wasn’t clearly defined
- Couldn’t get enough eyeballs to build a useful community.
- Didn’t allow for the community to take shape organically
- Target audience is too broad
- Didn’t generate enough content prior to launch
Through this process, I read several postmortems from failed companies to see if I could learn anything from their mistakes. Definitely eye opening. I’m walking away from this exercise with some clear next steps with respect to features, content and my audience. I don’t want this to be a one-time exercise — I plan to revisit as necessary to keep me grounded and focused on the right things.