Australian Nikki Durkin created her fashion startup 99dresses straight out of highschool.
99dresses was a mobile app designed to allow users to trade clothes between each other so they’d always have something new to wear and they’d save money by avoiding new purchases. Genius.
With all the fearlessness of youth, Nikki launched in Australia and soon after made an attempt to break into the huge US market. But things quickly came unstuck for Nikki, she ran into major technical hurdles and her problems with personnel, money and other issues snowballed until, ultimately, 99dresses hit the wall.
“Over 90% of tech startups fail, but I never thought my baby, 99dresses, would be one of them,” Nikki said.
“I survived being stabbed in the back by cofounders, investment rounds falling through, massive technology fuckups that brought sales to a halt, visa problems, lack of money, lack of traction, lack of a team, hiring the wrong people, firing people I didn’t want to fire, lack of product-market fit, and everything else in between.
“And yet I failed. I won many battles but I lost the war.”
In a post on the Female Founders page at Medium.com, Nikki recounts her experience and just how profoundly painful it was to see her passion project bite the dust.