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Episode 13: Why My Startup Failed – with Jordan Nemrow


2d033b9d7da6be5c7d9c6f5e483a4f32Can you picture it? You put your time, money and sweat-equity into creating something meaningful. It’s all you’ve focused on for a year and a half and then the resounding feedback from your customers is…”we really don’t like anything about your product.”

This week I turn my attention to the hard-hitting truth that many entrepreneurs face – failure. But what if we can minimize failure by learning from those who have gone before us?

Today I’m interviewing Jordan Nemrow about how he ended up killing his startup called Zillionears. He’s agreed to pull back the curtain and share his story about the tough decision to shut down a startup that wasn’t working and the priceless lessons learned from that experience.

It takes guts to admit failure. But so much great experience was gained because of it.

In Jordan’s own words:

“Although our company did not succeed … we all learned more in the past year than we had in college.”

In this episode, you’ll gain deep insight and wisdom from Jordan’s real world experience. Take it and improve your odds of succeeding.

In this interview Jordan will discus:

  • What drove him to start his own business in the first place?
  • Lesson learned #1: Thinking that your great idea can’t fail.
  • Lesson learned #2: Building your product in a vacuum and not validating your idea with real customers. Lot’s of them!
  • Lesson learned #3: Customers were finding it hard to understand the benefits of the product.
  • Lesson learned #4: Way too much time was spent creating the product (a year and a half to be exact) before trying to sell it.
  • Lesson learned #5: Perfectionism – by trying to make everything perfect, you will be passed up and forgotten.
  • Lesson learned #6: Not knowing when to call it quits – feeling like we had already gone too far to quit.
  • Buck the urge for perfection and just get your idea out there.
  • How Jordan is leveraging the knowledge of his failure to make infinitely better decisions with his next startup.
  • Losing a $100 bet with his sister and how that is shaping his next venture.
  • The value of honing your skills in a job before jumping into your next startup.
  • How startup failure can actually enhance your resume.
  • The most painful words you can hear from your customers: “I like it but I don’t love it.” Ouch!
  • Jordan’s #1 recommendation for someone that wants to build an app or create a software product on the side.

They say the truth can set you free but first it will piss you off. I imagine that it was pretty hard for Jordan to accept the lessons learned from his failed start-up. But the real truth is that it gave him deeper insight, more conviction and better odds for next time.

And if you prefer audio only, you can listen and subscribe to The Startup Sessions podcast on iTunes! 



  • Jordan’s Blog – My Startup Failed. Fuck. The things I wish I knew in 2011, and my journey forward.
  • My Failed Startup – Jordan’s full length blog article describing his failed startup experience and lessons learned.
  • Connect with Jordan via email at
  • Connect with Jordan on Twitter where he loves to talk to folks about startup experiences! @nemrow 


Listen and subscribe to The Startup Sessions podcast on iTunes! 


P.S. I’d love to hear your remarks or questions in the ‘comments’ section below! Would a friend enjoy this? Please share and tell them about it. 🙂

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