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Postmortem of a Failed Startup: Lessons for Success

Avoid common pitfalls of first-time entrepreneurship

Rarely is there a single root cause for a failed startup. Instead, there's a multitude of events and actions that intertwine and cascade to ultimately bring a startup to its knees, and more often, to its imminent demise. This book highlights the key lessons from one such startup.

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From Cradle to Grave of a Startup

Innovating and Creation

It all starts with a seed... an idea to solve a real-world "Hair on Fire" problem. All uphill from here.

Customer Discovery

Growing a company and a product requires a level of understanding of the target market's aches and pains.

User Interface & Experience

A clean, personable UI is the minimum, but an engaging UX separates the greats from the blips.

Build, Launch, Tune

Start laser-focused. Launch quickly. Assess interactions and traction. Learn and adapt. Repeat.

Sales, Marketing, Sales

A company lives or dies by sales, and rightly so, it's the hardest part of any company.

Team and I

In a startup, the founders determine the success or failure of the company, and each will be challenged to their limits.

Read world anecdotes

What's a book on lessons learned without real-world examples? Postmortem of a Failed Startup dives into the goods and the bads of a startup from inception to the eventual closure.


From pitching to decision-making and from product development to marketing, examples are described in detail to help entrepreneurs, corporate professionals, and investors avoid common traps of entrepreneurship.

What readers are saying

  • “ GREAT read. It's probably the only entrepreneurial book I've read where they truly lay it all out on the table for the reader.”

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    • Morgan Mullis
    • Senior Manager, Chainalytics
  • “ Loved the honesty about it! I would often read a chapter and think ‘great lesson – gotta remember that’. In fact, I just had an idea on a simple, yet effective way for our foreign offices to stay connected with the demands of our US market…”

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    • Jason Daley
    • Sales Executive

A Note From The Author

My hopes for this postmortem review is to educate early entrepreneurs on avoiding some of the pitfalls we fell prey to. After Body Boss, I’ve met with hundreds of entrepreneurs, startups, investors, and business leaders, and when I hear their problems, many are eerily similar to lessons I learned from Body Boss.

Founding a startup and building a product from scratch is one of the most humbling, challenging, and rewarding experiences of my life – perhaps more so because it was not a success. I highly encourage others to pursue an entrepreneurial route, but in the least, work in an environment where they are grounded in the company’s mission and values and one that they feel a true part of the company and its growth. That’s what Body Boss was for my team members and me. That’s why I love startups, and will continue to build companies
- Daryl Lu

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