how to kill a startup - an email i should have sent 2 years ago
Sellerwise.net was my first real tech start-up.
As a business it had a lot of potential – a genuine need in the market, lack of competition, a massive potential customer base, and fantastic initial take-up… And then one day the company I was singularly reliant on (eBay) decided they’d develop and offer a competing product… Game over.
!(http://caseyjohnellis.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/logo.jpg “logo” =284x103)I’ll do some more posts on this in the future – I’ve learnt a metric crapload out of starting, building, running and now failing my first tech startup.
After 4 years, lots of fun, lots of learning, and a little bit of pain every now and then we’ve decided to shut down Sellerwise. The service will be switched off on the 30th of October 2011.
You can find similar functionality via eBay’s free Listing Analytics tool which can be found at http://apps.ebay.com/selling?ViewEAppDetails&stab=1&mId=746&appType=1&appId=app.listinganalytics.com.
I’d like to personally thank all of you for using the service, especially those of you who’ve helped us develop the application with your valuable input and feedback.
If you’d like to keep up to date with what I’m up to next head over the http://tallpoppygroup.com and subscribe. I promise not to spam you – this is just a list for people who are infested in what my company is doing.
If you’d like to get in touch please contact me at
or on Twitter at @caseyjohnellis.
It’s clear to me that eBay is more and more towards favouring the “big seller” and the “big partner”. As a small solutions startup eBay has treated us with a mixture of contempt and ambivalence over the years. Commercially I can understand the reasons for this, but in my view it is counter to the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that eBay was initially founded on and brought to market with. I urge each one of you to support the startups which are working to bring balance back into this space.
I wish you all the best with your eBay selling, your other ventures, and life in general!
Peace and grace,
Thanks to everyone who’s helped, advised and been a part of this project over the years – especially Jeremy Manoto, Michael Murphy, Ryan McLean, and my lovely lady Viv Ellis.
I have to say that hitting send on this email, whilst quite sad, feels very good indeed. On to bigger and better things.