Showroom.ng, a Nigerian online furniture marketplace will shut down at the end of the month after its founder, Sheriff Shittu, blamed “poor execution” for the failure of the startup.
The startup was founded in 2015 and is a platform for furniture makers to showcase their products to buyers. However, the outfit is shutting down due to many factors that are management-related.
According to the CEO these are reasons why the startup failed.
- Weak Domain Expertise:
‘We don’t have that in our team. Inasmuch as I tried to learn on the fly, this business requires years of learning and practice before one can engage in it commercially. Also I had to personally underwrite mistakes from partners or staff in an attempt to make customers happy.’
‘The edge this startup has over bigger companies is supposed to be its delivery speed. Yeah, for a couple of our products we delivered promptly but for the majority, we were terribly late. Building features and improving user experience superb are not my strengths. To worsen matters, the team didn’t have stay, neither could we afford one.”
- Team setup:
“The success of any endeavor is tied to the people behind it. Looking back, I should have selected those with better domain expertise, better work ethic (than myself) and complimentary strength.”
- Raise enough money or don’t raise at all:
“I personally think, or have been conditioned, over the years that startups need to raise external funds to continue thriving. It’s not so. I worked with a couple of partners that didn’t raise a dime for their companies and they are doing fine. Sell a piece here and there. When we started doing fine, I somehow felt entitled to be funded. Somewhere along the line I asked myself, why really must these guys give me money? Did I work for the money in their pockets? I felt really bad and awkward sometimes with the process.”
- You don’t know everything:
“I have read all the articles, the manifestos; I have worked with a team that built massive stuff. Looking back, I think our strengths are magnified when we work in a strong team and diminished when we work in alone or in a weaker team. Listening to advice, and following your instincts are as good as knowing what to do right. If at a particular time you take a wrong decision, and another and another, the damage may be bigger than you can reverse.”
- Be true to your core values even at tough times:
“I believe customers reign supreme in every business and as such, whenever we fall short, I felt personally responsible for them. During many occasions, I avoided facing the customer because I thought, if I was in their shoes I would have done worse. Now, though, I really think it’s harder to keep to the ethos. Sometimes, I just pause, see what’s wrong and try to find a way out.”
The emotional sounding Shittu pledged to return with another startup after taking some time off.