Wesabe Co-founder Explains Why They Lost To Mint, Blames Himself

Marc Hedlund, co-founder and former CEO of personal finance company Wesabe, has penned a refreshingly honest and open take on why he thinks the startup lost to rival Mint.

The latter launched later than Wesabe (and won the top prize at the TechCrunch40 conference back in 2007) and was later acquired by Intuit for $170 million, while Wesabe had a less stellar exit and hit the deadpool last June.

Hedlund takes the blame, but also counters some of the things that have been cited as reasons for Wesabe’s demise for being myths, such as the fact that Mint was first to market, that the company wasn’t making any money and that it boasted an inferior name and design.

An excerpt:

I am, of course, enormously sad that Wesabe lost and the company closed. I don’t agree with those who say you should learn from your successes and mostly ignore your failures; nor do I agree with those who obsess over failures for years after (as I have done in the past). I’m hoping that by writing this all out I can offload it from my head and hopefully help inform other people who try to start companies in the future.

You’ll hear a lot about why company A won and company B lost in any market, and in my experience, a lot of the theories thrown about — even or especially by the participants — are utter crap. A domain name doesn’t win you a market; launching second or fifth or tenth doesn’t lose you a market. You can’t blame your competitors or your board or the lack of or excess of investment.

Focus on what really matters: making users happy with your product as quickly as you can, and helping them as much as you can after that. If you do those better than anyone else out there you’ll win.

What we’ve got here, ladies and gentlemen, is a must-read.

Good discussion about the post over at Hacker News.