swombat.com

daily articles for founders

Running a startup in the UK (or with a UK subsidiary)? Get in touch with my company, GrantTree. We help with government funding.
Shutting down Notifo  

Despite the available advice about how to wind down a startup, it is always a painful process. Chad Etzel from YC-backed Notifo comments:

I am feeling alternating waves of several different emotions as the finality of this decision sinks in: anger, grief, disappointment, guilt, relief, sadness, anxiety, excitement, and fear. I honestly believe that I tried my hardest to make things work.

Sounds about right. On the good side, I would applaud Chad on being decisive. There are so many opportunities to build startups out there, that hanging on to one idea long past the point where it's clearly unviable is an even bigger mistake from a personal level.

As I've argued before, impatience kills startups, but patience kills human beings. Shutting down a failed startup takes a huge weight off your back and gives you the freedom to start thinking of something new, free of the legacy of your past mistakes, but building on all that you've learnt (and founders learn a tremendous amount during the birth, life and death of a startup).

Keep pushing forward, Chad, and best of luck on the inevitable next venture!

PS: As an aside (and no consolation at all), this is one of the best "we're shutting down" blog posts I've seen.

More from the library:
Patrick McKenzie's work on the Fog Creek website
Principles for designing and deploying internet-scale services
Transparency in startups