Lessons I’ve Learned from my Failed Software Startup


We recently decided to shut down our side project called SilverReader (RSS reader platform).

This project was alive for a year and a half.

There were a lot of reasons that led to shutdown of SilverReader.

You can read more about that on our official blog post.

I will try to summarize a lessons I’ve learned from my startup project.

Monetize early

It is never too early to monetize your project. We never monetized SilverReader.

We’ve planned to implement premium features and start selling premium accounts, but never reach to this point.

The monthly costs of hosting accumulated over time.

This resulted in having only expenses and no profit.

Ask users to participate and share

We never succeeded to expand our user base.

We have 12K registered users but only about 600 active daily users.

The main reason is we didn’t interact enough with our users and ask them to help us increase our user base.

Collect feedback about everything

It is more important to have a good feedback system than a good product.

For example, we had about 1500 registered users that deleted account from SilverReader.

We haven’t collected any feedback from them.

Also, we had system alive for a year and a half and we didn’t learn what are the things people like about SilverReader.

Interact with users

We never implemented weekly or monthly email newsletter.

We thought that this might annoy some users.

We never realized that this is a way to tell our users that we are alive and that product is still under development and maintenance.

An email newsletter is a great way to tell customers where you are with product development and ask them to help increase your user base.

Implement unique features first

We had a product which is in a lot of ways similar to other RSS readers you can find online.

We decided to implement unique features later, after we implement core functionalities.

In the end, we never reach the point we have some unique functionalities that others don’t have.

Invest in marketing

Marketing your product is a full time job.

You should hire someone to do it or do it yourself 8 hours a day.

Believe in yourself and product success

If members of your team do not believe in yourself and product success, you are doomed.

You must find a team with great enthusiasm and passion.

Grow enthusiasm in a team and celebrate important milestones in your product development.


I have learned a lot of in last two years.

During my work on SilverReader some new ideas were born.

I have started a new project now.

I will regularly blog about things I learned during the development of this interesting project.

Subscribe to this blog to stay tuned about this and other interesting projects I do.


2 Comments on Lessons I’ve Learned from my Failed Software Startup

  1. windows_mss
    October 14, 2014 at 2:55 pm (10 years ago)

    Thanks a lot for sharing your valuable experience with us & all the best for your future plan. May all the success be yours. Keep us posted on your success stories.

    • Radenko Zec
      October 14, 2014 at 6:26 pm (10 years ago)

      Thanks windows_mss.


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