Startup Graveyard is a resource for entrepreneurs to avoid making the same mistakes as failed startups. The current iteration of this tool has created a space for entrepreneurs to learn from past failures in their industry. It has also increased transparency, created a platform for users to talk about failure and integrated a reporting survey to make sure the site has accurate and current information. The current implementation of this tool can be used at incubators and accelerators, as it would be a great place to learn of previous failures. It can also be used by business students and anyone looking to start their own business.
- Comparative Analysis and Database Integration. Future implementations would house the data in a database to enable features like comparative analysis of multiple startups side by side. Additionally, this would make the content easily searchable and queryable. The static form that it lives on the page now is a limitation.
- Data on Acquisition and Success. The project can benefit from data from the other side of failure. A comparison with other companies in the same industry that were successful could make startup ventures less likely to fail.
- Interactive Data Visualization. Interactive data visualizations can show patterns in the data that go beyond what can be shown on a static webpage. Visualizations like the parallel coordinates chart created in the beta can be expanded on, and additional data on acquisition and success can be visualized to show a more complete picture.
- Detailed Pages. The company pages can be more refined than they are in this iteration. Take Rdio for example. In addition to reasons for failure, reasons for the success of the competitors, Rdio’s business plans, videos the company published, and their slide decks could be available.
- Public Data Population. To make this a great resource, the content needs to be up to date and accurate. This takes a team of people. Future iterations can build in a method for the public to submit changes like Wikipedia. Changes can then be reviewed and then approved. Additionally, to ensure the quality of the content, the project could be incorporated into entrepreneurship curricula at universities.
- Animation Series. There are many stories hidden in the articles and blog posts, and an animation series would be a great way to make the data comedic and engaging to different audiences.
This study is limited to information that is available online, but so many startups fail without making a sound. I hope that as this resource develops as a tool for emerging entrepreneurs, it pushes them to think beyond the traditional startup ideas in their endeavors because innovation today should be more than another phone application. Additionally, I hope that this project introduces a degree of transparency that begins to de-stigmatize failure. Those who ended up in the graveyard had an idea, and they pursued it as far as they could, and were brave enough to tell their stories.