Can we talk about Quibi for a second? I was super bummed to hear they failed - as they are one of the largest fundraises by a female founder. Why do we think the company failed? and does this failure reflect on other women founders? Could the team have handled expectations better in the beginning? Personally, I do think they received a ridiculous amount way too early. Happy to hear thoughts.
My personal opinion is that they solved a problem no one had anymore. I thought that short, portable, consumable entertainment was promising idea in an on the move, commuter world, but that's not really a reality right now. I know there is a lot of other talk about their refusal to let their content go viral. As someone who has all the other streaming platforms and probably should be the target audience and did not try the platform and still does not know anything about their content and was not encouraged to try the platform via social media (ie, I watched Tiger King because everyone was posting about Tiger King), I think this criticism also seems legitimate. I actually find it kind of interesting that there is very little criticism of the female founder in the articles I've read (because we often see a very harsh standard for women in business). There is criticism of the idea, the content and the amount of money that was raised but I have very little knowledge about her or her background (I have not read many).
Glad to hear that there is very little criticism of the female founder in the articles. I also read up about it. There was criticism on how much they raised though.I saw this on VC twitter though:Total female founder raise in 2020: $2.5B (excl quibi)Quibi founder raise: $1.75Band this felt sad 😞
I admittedly was one of those free trial users who unsubscribed before I had to pay. To be honest I didn't find the content on there that great or enticing for me to keep paying. They're also too short for me in duration, which I know is what they're pushing for β€” bite-sized content. The dual form factor (content formatted for portrait and landscape) was interesting but for me was ultimately a distraction. I tend to watch videos in landscape but given it's available in portrait I'm always curious how different of an experience / content it would be (eg. is something important being cropped out), so I end up flipping back and forth the two modes.
That's very interesting. That they weren't even solving a "real" problem. How the hell did they raise more than a billion dollars without any product-market fit? :(Celebrity founders with major clout?
Agree with everything mentioned by Teresa and Sierra.They raised way too much way too early - this was not even VC. They had not tested the product, did not have a market, and could clearly not pivot within 6 months of post-launch, and no having celebrities help with marketing. This total fiasco angers me so much because this is capital that could have been put to better use. Basically a Juicero 2.0No this does not represent a failure on other women founders at all. It's a failure on the actual ecosystem that continues to value irrelevant metrics.
Yes, I agree, they raised too much too soon. Of course, this does not represent a failure on other women founders. And hopefully no VC will see this as a reason to not fund another women founder.
Agree with everything everyone else has said. Another key factor was that there's plenty of other short-form video content out there already (Instagram, Youtube, Tik Tok) that is all available free of charge. So it's not like people who were in those 'in-between times' (commuting - RIP, waiting at the coffee shop, whatever) that they were targeting didn't have things they could watch on their phones. And all free of charge. The other two major pitfalls I see if the lack of social sharing options (missing a key ingredient in content going viral) and inability of users to watch content on their TVs at home (especially since most of us are currently still stuck here).
Yes, I think COVID also added to the gamut of reasons. I do think they could have solved for all these issues in time. But I think they had raised so much money, pre-launch that there was no room for error and I think that was the biggest mistake of all. Startups are all about iteration and they didn't foresee any of that. :(
Definitely! I will say, I think there's a benefit to them 'failing fast'. They could have iterated this product into the ground and spent all that money, so I think it took mature leadership to realize this wasn't going to work and return some of the money to the investors.
Agree with the solving a problem that doesn't need solving comments. I feel like a big part of this was the founders and likely the investors did not come from the same generation they were trying to target. Which is fine, but they also failed to understand what their target audience wants and create content accordingly.One good take I saw on this is that with short form, they're going after the tiktok, instagram trends and millennial / Gen Z market. However, the content seemed more likely to appeal to members of the founders' generation. The big names they touted as talent for the shows come from the older world of TV shows but didn't include any influencers, Youtubers, Twitch stars, etc - names that would be more relevant and appealing to those likely to want short form content.I think a bit of hubris comes into play and failure to truly research the target / likely audience and clearly message and define who they're trying to reach. Personally, it never sounded like a service that interested me even for a free trial
Interesting POV, hadn't heard this before. The content itself is out of touch with GenZ.