What Went Wrong? How One Start-Up Caught the Attention of VCs, Gained 25,000 Daily Users, and Still Failed DrawQuest was launched in February features was instant replay. You could watch a 2013 by Christopher Poole. It was a pivotan replay of a friend drawing his or her picture. earlier version of the product was called To fund the venture, DrawQuesttaised Canvas. DrawQuest was an app built for the money from marquee investors. A $625,000 iPad, iPhone, and iPad Touch. The idea was to seed fund was raised in 2010 (when the encourage creativity through a daily drawing founders were working on a different app), and challenge $3 million was raised in two subsequent Here’s how it worked. Each day, a venture rounds from Union Square Ventures, drawing challenge was posted. The DrawQuest Andreessen Horowitz, Lerer Ventures, Chris screen would display part of a picture and Dixon, and several others. Despite all of this, challenge the user to complete it . For example, DrawQuest failed. What went wrong? the screen might show a picture of a child In a heartfelt bog post titled “Today My look-ing out into the water, and the challenge Startup Failed” and in an interview with would be “What’s in the water?” The user TechCrunch, Poole outlined the reasons that would then complete the picture. Other led to DrawQuest’s demise. In short, the examples include a screen with a hat at the top. company never figured out the business side of and the challenge would be “Who’s wearing the venture. The in-app upgrades, such as the hat?” Similarly, the screen might include a better paintbrushes and enhanced palettes of person standing on a balcony, and the paint, didn’t sell as well as anticipated, leaving challenge would be “What can you see from DrawQuest with insufficient income. Part of the balcony?” The DrawQuest app provided a the problem was that users didn’t feel a sense basic kit of online drawing tools to complete of urgency to upgrade. A large portion of the picture. The point wasn’t to create an Candy Crush’s success, for example, is that elegant drawing. In fact, the tools resulted in people buy extra lives. Draw-Quest didn’t the drawings being somewhat cartoon-ish in have the same emotional “I can’t play if I nature. The point was to force people to be don’t pay” urgency. The DrawQuest app was creative by deciding what to put in the water also expensive to develop and maintain. or what could be seen from the balcony. The Another issue DrawQuest encountered was the app and the basic set of draw-ing tools were pivot that Poole and his team executed. Prior free. DrawQuest made money be selling to DrawQuest, the team built an app named upgrades to the kit of drawing tools, like better Canvas that did not work out. They pivoted to brushes, additional palettes of paint, more DrawQuest, which resonated better with users vivid colors, and so forth. and drew a larger audience. The problem is The app itself did well. In the short year it that they spent half their investors’ money on was in existence it reached 1.4 million Canvas. Referring to that challenge, Poole downloads, 550,000 registered users, 400,000 wrote, “We built this app (DrawQuest) with monthly users, and 25,000 daily users. One of less than half of our runway remaining. You the draws was becoming part of the Draw- have to do twice as much with half as much Quest community. You could follow friends money. It’s really freaking hard.” and view their drawings. One of the coolest Ultimately, Poole and his team decided to pull the plug. They investigated selling DrawQuest to another company, but no one bit. In the blog post titled “Today My Startup Failed,” Poole provided insight into the human side of business failure. He wrote: I’m disappointed that I couldn’t produce a better outcome for those who supported me the most-my investors and employees. Few in business will know the pain of what it means to fail as a venture-backed CEO. Not only do you fail your employees, your customers, and yourself, but you fail your investors-partners who helped you bring your idea to life. TVenture Name: Draw Quest Problem Solution Value Propositions Unfair Advantage Customer Segments Key Metrics Channels Cost Structure Revenue Streams Your Name: Place any additional assignment content here as needed: 3. Complete a Lean Business Model Canvas template for Drew Quest. Is there anything that is noticeable in the business model template that may have forecast that Draw Quest would have a hard time surviving!
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