ScribbleSheet writes its own obituary

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It seems to be a day for shutting down. ScribbleSheet, a citizen journalism portal which only launched in September last year, is no more. It turns out there are a lot of other places on the Internet where people could write about politics, technology, business and culture.

The London-based self-funded startup from co-founders John Ndege (22, formerly with Accenture), and Brian Oula (22, former IT consultant, was a brave, but I’m afraid naive, attempt to reproduce the success of OhMyNews or Newsvine. As I wrote on their launch “I fear they will get nowhere near those sites”. Ndege told me then that Scribblesheet would be a better alternative than all the “dead blogs” people create and then let die. He appears to have been quite prescient. [Update: He blogs about the experience here].

If we had a deadpool on TechCrunch UK I’d put this ScribbleSheet there. Definitely not mothballed…

I also have to say (sorry guys!) that ScribbleSheet felt like one of the frothy companies that appeared last year where just about anyone was trying to launch a social media site. I would not take it as indicative of a ‘slump’ in the UK startup space by any stretch. However, it’s clear the bar is getting higher to winning investment, especially for first-time entrepreneurs.

  • Kyle MacRae

    Ach, bad luck, John. Nevermind – move on, ever onwards.

  • JohnofScribbleSheet

    Thanks Kyle such is life….I’ve written a little requiem about scribblesheet and citizen journalism over here if your interested.

  • D

    Learn from your mistakes, move on and come back bigger and better next time.
    I really like your post where you show setting up, growing and closing down of the company.

  • David Langer

    I’ve known John since he was working at Accenture, before the days of Scribblesheet, and have been impressed by how he’s developed over the past 7 months.

    The thing us Brits need to emphasise more with projects like ScribbleSheet and Blog Friends is the amount people are learning.

    Right now, the pooled knowledge of young entrepreneurs in the British ecosystem is growing fast as a result of these sort of experiences.

    As the knowledge and contacts from the Seedcamp 6 and British YC companies is propogating out, I believe that young entrepreneurs here are quickly maturing to become more on a par with our US counterparts.

    Let’s have a more positive attitude to failure guys. What did they learn? Are they doing another startup? How can we provide more support to early-stage teams like this in the future?

  • Jof

    You’re not wrong: we’re learning shed-loads! As I noted on Nic Brisbourne’s blog, when Benjie and I joined i-together in Oct last year we’d only been in the internet space for a few months! It’s been one hell of a ride, but I can tell you it’s an awful lot better than working as a corporate whore as I had been until Q2 last year.
    What’s clear is that we need a few generations of this sort of stuff to happen in order for the UK scene to be really strong and well-connected. For example, this time last year I didn’t even know who Mike Butcher was – now, by contrast, I’m an occasionally-recognized hanger-on at all sorts of tech events. But getting to know “the right people” is still really slow over here…

  • willphipps

    Sorry to hear that, John. A sad day for UK start ups – blog friends gone as well. Best of luck on your next project – at least you learnt a load of PHP and probably a lot of other stuff. I’d take a bit of time off, then get back onto another idea. Amazing what a break can do.

    Keep on truckin!!

  • DomRoberts

    It always seems that the American companies get a lot more funding for a lot poorer ideas than happens over here in the UK. There appears to be daily updates about companies in the states receiving millions of dollars of funding for sites that offer very little. Slide have been values at $500 million for what appears to be a bunch of facebook widgets.

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