I watched with admiration, as they really worked the PR machine, with plenty of media coverage at the time of launch.
I was stunned when they announced US$1m in seed funding only weeks later. Wow, that’s meteoric growth. I have to admit I was jealous. I’d love to throw some serious money at our humble boot-strapped startup. I have a huge belief 6Q can help many other organisations, as it has helped ours, which was the original reason for its start.
Only days after that announcement, fellow competitor David Hassell co-founder and CEO of 15five, penned an article in early December, titled What it feels like when a competitor utterly rips off your entire company (I’m looking at you, Mitchell Harper) and then Mitchell Harper wrote a response on Medium as well; Competing against indifference.
I don’t know what the story behind the topic of those articles really is, and I’m not going to give an opinion either way. I do know, however, that I hadn’t heard of 15five when we built 6Q in September 2014; it was only close to our actual launch in March 2015, that I saw we had competition, and great products as well. Yes, I failed in doing competitive analysis.
Today, I have just heard that only three months later, PeopleSpark has announced it is closing down, effective immediately.
New page when accessing peoplespark.com (28 Jan 2016)
The PeopleSpark story has to be the fastest launch, fund raising and closure in Australian startup history, potentially the world. Along with a few other negative stories about startups in Australia in the last month, such as the very short lifespan of Sociabl, does this signal we are about to find startups being avoided by customers, for fear of quick closures or investors, for fear of very fast losses?
I have faith that Mitchell Harper, who is a seasoned entrepreneur, will be back soon with another business (he has founded five prior), and will go on to further success, however it does beg the question what happened with PeopleSpark, and will this reflect badly on all Australian startups?
I appreciate your comments or shares.