GigaOM has a post on Evan Williams’ candid confession of what went wrong. A must-read for entrepreneurs.
1. Trying to build too much Odeo set out to be a podcasting company with no focus beyond that.
2. Not building for people like ourselves For example, Williams doesnt podcast himself, and he says as a result the companys web-based recording tools were too simplistic.
3. Not adjusting fast enough The company thought its comprehensive web-based strategy would win out over the competition, primarily Apple, in the long term. It turns out long term is not soon enough for a startup if youre trying to get a foothold.
4. Raising too much money too early Williams seeded the money with $70,000 of his own money, and after the TED excitement added another $100,000. After he tied up over a million in angel funding, a term sheet came through from Charles River Ventures at three times the angel round valuation. They took the money.
5. Not listening to my gut When youve got a bunch of money and youve hired a lot of people and youre talking to your board and youre talking to reporters, your gut can get drowned out.