How to Lose 10MM Dollars

In a tweetstorm from Andrew Wilkinson about how their task list app Flow was out competed by Asana. To summarize, his team built an early SaaS task list web app that was growing fast until Asana arrived and quickly outpaced them. Their growth slowed and eventually decided to shut down after many years. He frames the underlying causes as bootsrapped vs venture backed and how, “Good product with great marketing beats amazing product with no marketing.”

He offers a word of caution about bootstrapped businesses that are in a highly competitive space with low barriers to entry (like a todo list app) and how a well capitalized competitor can win.

See also:

  • 7 Powers might offer some more explanation. It seems like Asana used it’s process power in engineering to outpace Flow (e.g. building iOS, Android clients) and branding to market and position the product.