April 15, 2008
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Nothing like some breaking news to awake you from a blog slumber. Russ announced on his blog the end of Mowser.
Sad news, and I sympathize. Russ and Mike are buddies so I’ve followed the travails of Mowser closer than, well, almost anybody, so this also is a bit more personal for me. I’ve been there. My previous startup, clevercactus, also ran out of money after having put everything I had into it, and I experienced something similar (although a bit less drastic) in terms of financial impact. A lot of us are used to abundance and generally have absolutely no idea how stressful it is (to put it mildly) to have to choose what food to buy to avoid breaking the bank.
The good news in all this is that failure is a HUGE learning opportunity, something that isn’t said enough. Throughout the process you’re consumed by trying to make it work, but once it’s done you can look back and find a lot of things to do differently in the future. Yes, in the future — I don’t believe that you can really say that you’d ‘do things differently’ since generally we make the best decisions we can with the information we have available at the time. Additionally, the next step (after a period of recovery) after having put everything into something that didn’t work can actually be very refreshing and lead to amazing opportunities, like it did with me.
There is also some solace to be found in the online response. When you work with a team of a few people or more you can help each other, but when you work on your own or with a partner it’s a harder situation, and the online response helps a lot. In the case of mowser, it’s been at the top of techmeme for a while now and it’s been covered and discussed all over the place, in part because of Russ’ statement that ‘the mobile web is dead.’ (More on that later), but also due to comments of support.
As for Mowser, it’s online for the time being and as Mike says they’re looking to sell the site or code, which is in my mind a very possible outcome. It would be cool to see it live on in some form.