During Summers 2015, I interned at a start SafelyHome as an algorithm and Android developer. The startup was in it’s initial budding stages, still developing the product for the launch (even that was in it’s initial stages). As a result, I got to learn a lot while working in the small team and as I did a good job and had command on all aspects of the technical works, I became a Core Team Member within a month. And closely observing and also taking some decision for our growth I learnt a lot about what we did right and what went wrong.

Our application SafelyHome was targeted to car and motorbike owners. It was capable of automatically detecting an accident if the driver/biker encounters one, and alert emergency services as well as the kin of the person within a minute. As another feature, we also tried to organize the unorganized sector of repair mechanics in India (Delhi during launch). Every day hundred of people die due to not getting urgent care after an accident and therefore we could save all those lives.

During our development stages before our beta product launch, we were nearly always on schedule which is very important, both for keeping the morale of the team high, as well being on time in delivering the product to be sure of the launch deadline and not rushing things towards the end or postponing the launch which both be bad for the health of the startup.

Secondly, the outreach is important. And we got a big outreach, we collaborated with the Delhi (Indian state) Government and launched our app, also getting to be able to launch at a Police Department Public Meetup and received applauds for the same. We also had appreciation in the newspaper for the work we were doing.

Moreover, the business model we had was also decent enough for a beginning as we were getting help from the government and had data and other deliverables to sell to companies (like insurance companies, private hospitals).

At launch, we had a good response for a few weeks, but after that both our daily active users as well as new people coming started going down and people started going off the platform. We tried to keep going by incorporating different features that could keep people on the application but we weren’t successful and we had to sell our data and idea, application to another company.

Accessing our failure, during the end we realised where we went wrong.

Firstly, the big reason which we failed was that we did not do a proper market research to make sure how, with what and to whom to sell. Our product was worthy, and free but it wasn’t useful to our target group because they didn’t care about an accident or breakdown happening once in a blue moon.

Secondly, though we had outreach, we failed in constant marketing to make people aware of the application and to grow. As we couldn’t go big, and didn’t have numbers to show for getting an investment, all of it combined went wrong and we ended up failing our idea.

And that is also how we understood that anyone can have a good idea, but the correct implementation is the key to success of a startup based on that idea.

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