Wattage entrepreneurial failures: advanced ideal and cold reality

on May 21, hunting cloud network

note: let every ordinary people can create and sell their own hardware. Wattage take this advanced the idea of leaving, but failed. “” ideal too plump, reality is too skinny. Wattage failed to get in the real market recognition, eventually shut down because of funding problems. CEO through the article systematically summarizes the reasons for failure and problems, also Shared with other entrepreneurs to provide experience for reference. The following for the full text:

a year ago, we aggressively started product research and development; But a year later, we finished the last penny, Wattage have closed.

this is a hard to accept the reality, but I have to make this decision, Wattage, no longer exists. We can’t make sure get the money, so now we can only close, admitted the failure. But at least we can guarantee the rest of the business to provide funds to pay off investors. So, although we can’t put the Wattage into a unicorn, we is not a complete failure.

there are many led to the cause of our defeat. I think I should put what we learn from the experience to share with you, maybe this can be your mistakes. First of all I want to talk about is our Pitch Deck financing (speech).

in this for a whole year in the entrepreneurial process, one of the most popular feedback we hear speeches is how good is our financing. After all, if only we even joked that Wattage not line, we can at least help others writing speeches by mixing mouth meal. Although the financing the content of the speech did not bring our business to help, but I realized, share with you, it may be able to help you something. This article did not strictly follow the standard format of financing speeches exactly, is “no” in accordance with the requirements. But at the very least, it looks out of it?

this speech condenses our soul, we modified the about 60 times back and forth. Here you can download the final version.

Wattage vision is: to let everybody to follow one’s inclinationsly hardware innovation and reform. Here, we are no longer satisfied with the existing store shelves, mass production of commodities; We are not restricted to those people make good products for us, we are in pursuit of a user can easily upgrade our old product and then continue to use, or simply reprogramming, reinvent it, rather than wait for it out of date and throw it away.

we want to create and sell hardware is as simple as this task like writing a blog. Even if you are not a electronic engineer or industrial designer, you can also create their electronic devices. You don’t have to worry about supply chain and sales channels completely, because these we can provide to you. We firmly believe that we can simplify the complex process, let each ordinary people don’t have any electronic knowledge, can easily through their browser to create his own hardware products.

as you can see, in the end we failed to achieve ideal. Why is that?


our failure reasons, to sum up is actually a words: failed to prove that our products are attractive enough. We try to build new markets for a large number of custom electronic components. In our opinion, this road is feasible, is full of hope. We think we can develop a new market, and conquering it. But contrary to our view of investors. If a company is the pursuit of the market is a completely unknown, but has never been proved, so investors and with what broke the large sums of money in this company? Obviously, they don’t.

as a hardware company, we always focus on creating a prototype platform, to prove that our vision is feasible in technology. In retrospect, it was a wrong decision. Our top priority is supposed to be issued as early as possible a more lightweight version, the sooner the better. We should focus on validation market are interested in our products, access to attractive products. We later really aware of this problem, we did try to release a public beta version, attention to the product. But it is too late, in the end we had to give up release beta versions of the plan, because we’ve spent money and resources.

Focus enough

we have a grand plan, but every journey begins with a single step. We do from the start with a few key performance, but it turns out that such a “minority” or too much. We decided at the time, only around a hardware platform to set up an initial. We decided, in the initial stage, first do not provide for the customer market and distribution functions and services, such as don’t launch programmable hardware features, so the customer must have their own design, creation and integration of their hardware.

but it is too scattered, concentration is not enough. We should think of some way to launch a single and highly customizable products, rather than rushing to create build a platform for the hardware. If we did you chose the former, then we can prove that we are have the ability to seize the potential customers to sell products, we won’t fall on this field.

we finally decided to focus on for the radio, but it is too late.

VC bumpy road more

although there are many kinds of selection of financing method, but we chose the venture capital (VC). The road is bad, I’m from knew from the start; But the reality is more difficult than I imagined. Even if you read the “risk investment transactions” (Venture Deals) the book or the entrepreneurship godfather to know Paul graham’s article by heart, still to no avail.

in start-ups, we first ask friends and relatives of all stripes borrowed $250000 in start-up capital, then won the $2 million in financing in seed money. To raise the money I spent six months of precious time, on the move, to San Francisco, in silicon valley, New York and Toronto, meet with venture capitalists, persuade them to invest to the Wattage.

in silicon valley, we believed that our financing too little; In Canada, we have too much and financing. Now looking back, we had too impulsive, in too short time to raise too much of the money. With its seed funding in early to so many, in fact you might as well get a smaller investment by angel investors, financing less first, put some small lightweight product as early as possible. And our products have a certain interest, we can raise more money again.

if you let me again, I would have better use AngelList this financing platform – there are so many potential and opportunity! It’s a pity we just created a profile on AngelList updated time to time, in the end failed to put it to use as a financing platform.

why not undertake the raise?

we have planned for the masses to raise, but in the end or not, because I think we haven’t develop to this stage entrepreneurship. We had confidence in our products that don’t cost much, so I worry that even if all the raise plan succeeded, after we probably will cause losses in every transaction. But we never give up the plan to raise, but I think the time has not yet to our understanding of product cost still need to go further.

business scale expands to what degree?

our business model is about selling hardware. We greatly reduce the complexity of the hardware, to expect to find more people to create hardware, buy our products. Then we put this to create a platform in the market, so the creator can use our platform to create their hardware, and sell their products to the manufacturer.

in the early days of the financing in the speech, we focus on the issues of user authorization. Our target audience is a software developer at first, because I believe that we can offer the works of their talents and create a new channel. But this goal, it seems, are still ambitious enough. Investors want to hear is a great idea is enough to change the world. Ambition, remarkable market impact, and bring huge sales – this is what they expected. We want to do, said the story, not ambitious enough.

at the same time, I on the products on the market potential of low stress enough, so that investors to our understanding of how much more is that our products will bring “inventor”. In our eyes, our focus is the mass customization product and its diverse markets, but this aspect of the vision and the opportunity seems to eventually failed to cause the resonance of the investors.

a lot of people ever to this kind of hardware customization business scalability. , after all, is the mass production of the driving forces of the manufacturing industry, because of a single product production cost is too high, only batch production can benefit from economies of scale. We believe that we can overcome the conventional at the time, through the standardization of our design and manufacturing platform, and USES the modular electronic components, attracting a large number of customers to use our platform to build a large number of products, to reduce our marginal cost.

our plans are too

there are a total of 1600 people to register and subscribe to our email Newsletter, I to every one of them sent messages. I give my email address and phone number to them and tell them what’s the problem though come to me. Has 100 people had contacted me, and I Shared their product ideas. But the problem is that these ideas, there are a lot of all is the current science and technology cannot be achieved. Of course I believe that one day, the human science and technology development to realize these ideas, but I’m afraid that after a long time.

further to say that we have created the prototype, is still too immature, its quality is unqualified. The manufacture of our products means excessively depends on the laser cutting. Produced such products and our vision is the most close to, but not enough. What we really need is to put the laser cutting and the 3 d printing technology together, but, unfortunately, 3 d printing technology for manufacturing, too expensive or too slow. I believe that in the near future, 3 d printing will become one of the main mode of production in the manufacturing industry, but for now, it has not yet reached levels can be used in mass production.

so, everything can only go so far. Although we failed, but the entrepreneurial process is very meaningful. As for these things produced in the past year should do about them, we haven’t decided yet. Wattage is likely to be reborn in the form of another, but we are not sure yet.

in the end, I would like to thank those who support us in this adventure. But I want to thank every employee in our team silent support behind his wife. When we are proud of or lost, they are always encourage and waiting for us. In the face of today’s defeat, if not sad not disappointed, it must be false; But to look good, at least we will all return to a steady pay post!

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