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.


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