I wouldn't call these projects "failed", but many developers abandon, pause, stop their projects for various reasons.
So far, we have had more than 50 projects posted and as of this morning two projects have been sold.
Loved the approach that Sacha is taking as suggested in the post, sideprojectors could be another way of saving an interesting side project that could benefit others!
Although I'm a bit wary about selling it, because it's the kind of project that could easily be used for spammy purposes…
IMHO, the proven formula of service providers shaving off their earning for you should work better. There are other innovations possible, like peer review for design, design critique from an expert, outsourced usability testing etc.
Its always easier to swim downstream.
I could do that, but A) it would end up being more expensive for customers (although maybe that's irrelevant if they don't perceive it that way?) and B) it would be more complex logistically.
So I will probably stick with the current model at least for now, even though I know it has its flaws.
Elance/oDesk/99Designs and other sites just have more room to monetize than a one-time $100 upfront fee. If designers get a lot more inbound from this, you're essentially giving them leads, so it makes sense for the startups to find great designers and the designers take a percentage cut for having much of the heavy early lifting done for them.
I also don't think you're going to reach much scale with a domain like folyo.me -- it's just not good. I love your design work, but branding is key too, and while a domain like that might be good enough to validate your idea I don't think you can have a runaway hit with that.
The reason people use .me is because all the good .com's are taken, but folyo.me isn't a very easy name to say out loud to someone and remember. Your competition scoutzie.com isn't the best domain in the world but it's a .com and it sounds more like a brand than folyo.me -- I know domains are expensive if they're good so not sure if it's worth the investment in something better.
"I rethought the homepage’s message from the ground up to really explain what Folyo does, instead of just projecting a nice image (compare [THE NEW HOMEPAGE] with the old homepage).
"So take a look at [the new Folyo](I'm a link!) and let me know what you think!"
PPPS: Perhaps a fresh design is what your startup needs. Guess where you can find new designers? [Hint: Folio](link)
Anyway, good luck with your next shot.
I say this as a designer who is going to submit on the site.
Die a little inside when something you labored on for 18 months ends up being sold for half cost on Woot.
That's just me though...
(sorry for the late comment)