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Show HN: Dead Yet? – Keep an eye on dying startups (deadyet.lol)
164 points by shopkins on May 26, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 89 comments

Has none of the charm of FuckedCompany. That was a great web site and really captured the mood back then.

Thanks https://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=pud

History lives on when you're riding the internet:


Fuckedcompany founder here.


I wasted about 10 years of my life on fc related forums. They were great to begin with, and then gradually just became utterly terrible.

You want me to thank you again? :-)

I just came here to say that. FuckedCompany was hilarious back during the first .com crash.

>>Previously started Fandalism, TinyLetter, AdBrite, Fuckedcompany.com

I lived through that era compared to then things might be tight but people are actually making money back then nobody was making money and web applications required teams of c/c++ people the burn rates were staggering.

Web apps did not require c/c++. Plenty of ASP, and Perl/CGI sites in those days. The burn rates were insane but it didn't have a lot to do with the developer resources required. For one thing there was no AWS so many web companies built their own data center an exhorbitant capital and operational expense.

I think the difference is public vs private money. If we are in a bubble (which I'm not sure of but let's assume yes for the sake of argument) the investors that stand to loose their capital are all "qualified investors." There are few public companies that are "frothy" this time. Personally, I think the fact that the public markets appear to still be functioning well is _why_ few startups are going for IPOs.

Of course, if startups do start to IPO and the public markets catch the over-valuation bug, then we could see a repeat of 2000. Barring that, I think a correction would not infect the markets at large and may drive more capital into the public companies that are not over valued.

Seems useful (albeit tongue-in-cheek), but will have to keep my eye on this just in case:



502. Well, that didn't take long.

Really need to host isdeadyet.deadyet.lol on another page so it's accurate next time. Try again now.

It's dead-yet checks all the way down.


Hahah I will be too! ;)

Useful for what?

I liked this one: http://autopsy.io/ And this: http://www.cbinsights.com/blog/startup-failure-post-mortem/

Personally I'd like to see a post mortem for companies that collapsed. Sometimes they are the only historical record we have of these businesses.

So frequently founders and investors rush to burn the evidence of their failures before the lessons they learned are ever taught, and the business completely vanishes into the ether as if it never existed.

There's a lot of value in documenting and aggregating data in companies that failed for whatever reason. Not only to apply the lessons of failing but it does a great job of logging the industry zeitgeist, seeing what trends in ideas we thought were worth investing in that turned out to be duds, what flamed out and then sprung back years later. Too much of that data has been lost over time, it's a real shame.

This Twitter bot (Deathwatch) kind of has the right idea, nice way to pseudo-automate the process at least. The downside though is that it can throw a lot of false positives, just because a startup stops tweeting from a particular account doesn't mean they've perished:


Creator of the bot here. Thanks for the shoutout!

I predict that within 10-20 years we will have AI bots that automatically come up with ideas for bots (trivial versions of this surely are already possible) - and that also have an add-on that lets them monitor forums and post "thanks!" notes to any comments mentioning them. I'm curious what people like you, or your descendants, will be doing by then :-)

Psst, that's actually already happened

By the way, US and UK versions here: http://deathwatch.io/us/ http://deathwatch.io/uk/

Anyone remember deathwatch[0] from the first dot com bubble?

It was based on actual financial statements "based on their reported liquid assets and loss rate. When the cash runs out, something bad for stockholders has to happen."

The weird thing is, at the time that statement was controversial. "We'll make it up in volume!"


pretty negative, reminds me of fuckedcompany.com back in about 2000 - that made it into a game, you could bet on which dotcom bubble companies were going to fail.

It's definitely meant to be taken lightly. If you added your own startup, a big "no" just shows how non-failey you are -- it goes both ways.

Damn it Nietzsche, stop playing with the computer!

Some living startups are listed dead (Pinboard, bad URL), but some dead startups are listed alive as well.

For instance, L'Usine à Design is dead since 2013. They were a French company that made furniture, I bought a couch from them. Their office was on the same floor as Moodstocks, where I was working at the time, and after it closed a few angry customers came banging at our door to complain.

(The reason why the website thinks they are not dead is that the URL they used for the check is the URL of a news article announcing that they were dying!)

Thanks, I fixed the URLs and data on those.

Good to know Keith Richards isn't dead yet, didn't realize he was a startup.


Who is asking "Is that company dead yet? It should've never been created in the first place."

If you want to check a company's status, just go to the website. This seems like a cynical tool.

You think the site hosted at "deadyet.lol" might be cynical?

Wasn't there one of these that turned into a service that then failed itself some time ago? I don't keep track but I seem to remember it from the past two years.

In any case, great domain name, haha.

Yeah I think it was a service for closing up your startup, emailing your customers and displaying a nice "we're gone now" message.

I was doing an analysis a while back to figure out YC's IRR, and the problem wasn't outright dead startups, but the walking dead.

Silicon Valley (YC included) has a large number of these. I remember one that is not "dead" by any public measure (live site accepting new customers), but upon digging I found that the two co-founders now work at Facebook!

I worked at one of these startups whose product kept running for months, even after firing all of its developers. That's the main reason for this and the "dead yet" name -- the "walking dead" state definitely seems like a common occurrence.

Whew, thank god! What a relief, I use that website all the time to do all of my development on there.

This reminds me of an idea I had in mind a while ago.

It would've been similar to this (like some kind of "Startup Graveyard") but slightly more extensive: interviews with the founders and the lessons they learned from it, what "type" of failure they suffered from (misinterpreting the market, lack of skills, etc).

I ultimately gave up on the idea because none of the founders I contacted wanted to truly spill the beans on what went wrong (the best I tended to get was some vague PR mumbling).

I did set up something similar on postmortem.co (dead) that was being populated by subreddit r/shutdown plus other contributions, main problem was to get proper explanation on why they failed and not just the public statement.

Legal, reputation among other reasons force people to don't share why something failed. I'm convinced it would be a great resource for learning on all kind of areas.

sorry this is like an olympic sports reporter tracking down whoever came last in each event to ask, "what happened?"

Meh. I'll stick to reading what the winners have to say - or those still actively competing with them.

There is economic value in risk management.

Interesting idea. However, I'm not a fan of the overwhelmingly negative vibe this gives off. By this I mean there seems to be no effort made about any kind of constructive criticism or help, e.g. a way to offer feedback on the listed startups so that they could actually use it as a platform to learn from.

So far it seems to me that it's more of a "Haha, you didn't make it" page creator when it could actually become a force for good.

I don't like the negative vibes I get from http://www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com/ instead giving tip how to stay up it's purposed to say if website is down.

It's normal that companies die. What advice would you give them?

'is it down for everybody or just me?' is a neutrally-framed status reporter. The 'vibes' I speak of are the way in which 'Dead Yet?' is, fundamentally by its name, presumptuous (in my opinion). Therefore I don't think you have a great analogy there but I do see your point that my 'feedback' point was perhaps a bit too general — it would just be nice to be able to review a startup (a small disqus comment thread on the page, for example) rather than just pointing the finger at its deadness.

I don't personally have generic advice off-the-bat for company-wide failure avoidance I'm afraid.

Don't die.

Thanks! This advice helped my company survive bad times!

or do

Negativity is an important part of not getting trapped into a life of propagandizing.

It doesn't come from a place of negativity. As I mentioned elsewhere, it can show how resilient a product is as well. A community for startup support is probably outside the scope of this site (and done much better elsewhere), but what would you like to see added?

This is the best use of the new .lol TLD I've seen yet.

Reminds me of a small project I hacked on through the night once:


I sure do miss FuckedCompany

An Assassins market for startups with a cryptocurrency backend would be a cool way to semi-automate this.

Sad moment indeed.


If it's a list of startups, not sure why any of the big companies (i.e. Apple, Microsoft etc) are on there.

Also, I'm curious about what the refresh rate is to check HTTP status. I'm sure some sites on that list may have been down for more than a day or two.

It checks the site immediately when it's added, then once a day afterwards.

The sentiment of http://issnapchat.deadyet.lol/ is amusing, but I agree it shouldn't be with the dead-product-walking list. Will add something that can filter or move these.

Er, I don't think 9front is dead yet, fairly certain there was a release a few weeks ago :)


That was a bug from fetching the wrong URL. It's fixed now.

No way to discuss the starts in question? I'd love a comment board under each name. I tried one or two; their websites were awful. Virtually unusable. Feedback might help them.

Did CoTap really die? This site says yes, but their site is up, their app is available in the App Store and their Twitter account is still active..walking dead or not dead yet?

I think the URL is not right. I noticed the same thing.

Right, this is fixed now. New entries shouldn't have this problem.

It appears The Iron Isles is finally dead. Undoubtedly it was a great product with so much promise. Alas, even dreams as lofty as The Iron Isles must one day die. LOL

What is dead may never die

There's a company that was called "God" and it appears it's dead. Ha! Nietzsche was right. Who has the audacity to name their startup God?

http://isskyscanner.deadyet.lol/ apparently yes? Hmm....

This seems to be transforming into a link spam source awfully quickly. Too bad, because it has a certain kind of appeal.

Any examples? I'm cleaning up bad data now.

Easy to spoof. Pinboard is listed as dead, though the healthcheck url on their site is Pinboard.im, not Pinboard.in

Would be great to have a "half of fame" for this to see what startups people are expecting to die.

Products marked public show up here now: http://deadyet.lol/browse

The `this page` links are relative so you get 404 (e.g. is9front.deadyet.lol/9front.org).

What happened to color.xxx ?

What is dead may never die!

Would be great if you can sign up for email alerts when a company dies

Great idea, I'll look into it.

How much does it cost to keep this small site up and running?

About $5 / month.

Or nothing except yearly domain name registration, if you already have another non-trivially-small site up and running.

Still waiting for Alphabet to die. When will it die!

Browse link throwing server error :(

Fixed -- try it now.

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