I just closed the books on a startup I began nearly 2 years ago. As of today, there’s no website, social media presence or bank account. The investor got whatever money was left, and the financial records have been filed in a neat little “Final Paperwork” folder. The Dropbox folder has a backup of the source files and last DB, and I’m no longer syncing it with my devices.
It took way longer than it should have to get to this point. I should have done this all in 2011 and saved myself a year of server fees, Facebook ad buys, and hedging questions about what my plans are with “that company I started.” I should have gotten past the denial, anger, bargaining, and depression and just faced the facts: I failed.
Sure, I learned a lot of important lessons, discovered new talents and interests, and gained real experience I use daily. But for now I’m archiving the details and putting it behind me.
The final stage of a startup is accepting it’s over, and moving on to whatever is next.