The Startup Failed

I shared some candid thoughts about the next steps for me and the project (and my life!) in the last video of the YEN YT channel:


The TL;DR: is that my venture-funded project failed to reach product-market fit. I penned a long-ish email to the investors this morning letting them know the final outcome (no surprises though as they’ve been tracking the entire time).


The truth and reality is that most startups fail — even and especially venture-funded ones — and yet we believe, when we first start them, that ours will be statistically-different! If we didn’t think this way then we’d never make the actual attempt!

I’m a clinically-addicted to being an optimist so this is just my modus operandi at this point in time. I believe in better future(s) and I can’t stop thinking about how to make it all better.

It’s been a very long and challenging 4 years… that’s not saying much but also it’s saying quite a bit at the same time. I feel as if I started YEN as one person and at this point I feel as if I’m an entirely different human being. Life moves fast.

I’m grateful for their support and I’m disappointed that I couldn’t bring them the returns that we all had hoped. My plan is to continue to work on the metaplatform but as an independent, bootstrapped project.

The story isn’t over; it’s just changing.

Startup failure doesn’t mean that the founder(s) are failures — it just means that the project failed to achieve sufficient enough financial lift to cover the operating costs. I used to have a lot more emotion attached to these things but after so many years of doing this I’m now better able to divorce my identity from the project itself.

Although, not perfectly or completely, of course.

As an artist my art is my life and my life is about my art. What a small group of us have done is built something meaningful, to us, as artists. And art, like software, is never finished, only abandoned.

And since I do not have much, at least at the present moment, this is all I really have and I have no plans of leaving the community (or metaplatform) to gather dust. In many ways this is as it should be.

This particular venture-funded project failed and I’m okay with that. But, I do want to take some time away, rest, gather my thoughts, and consider what I’m supposed to do next. If you have any thoughts on this then you know where to find me.

The best is yet to come!