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Qu’arrive-t-il lorsque les start-ups meurent?

What happens when startups die?

January 19, 2017By Louis-David Noël

When we participated in the 2016 Web Summit, Cédric and I noticed the strong presence of startups and young entrepreneur exhibitors seeking investors or client-users for their applications.

From the consumer's point of view

With half of startup businesses not surviving their first 5 years of existence, we questioned ourselves seriously about the impact of these closures on users who decided to trust their products. Who is going to update the safety processes? Will my application still work? What about my data?

[img]point-vue-consommateur.jpg|600|center|true|Du point de vue du consommateur|[/img]

Information safety

Probably influenced by the fact that this concern was addressed at length during the Web Summit, our first questions were about updating safety processes. While all organizations are turning digital for data storage, exchange and management, it is more and more appealing for hackers to find the flaws and access important privileged information such as customer profile lists, credit card or social insurance numbers, financial results, forecasting and business plans...To name but a few examples of what we can find on the web.

Data security and integrity is already a daily concern for application developers, so what happens when no one takes care of it anymore?

This is especially true in our era of connected devices, like Bluetooth light bulbs or smart TVs and thermostats. These objects can still be used way beyond the commercial life cycle or product line duration. As stories of technology hacking to access your private information rise to the surface, who is responsible for it once the manufacturer is no longer operational?

[img]securite-informations.jpg|600|center|true|La sécurité des informations|[/img]

Service longevity

Another important concern is the service or application life cycle. With a lot of startups (and more and more major innovation organizations) adopting the Fail Fast philosophy, what will be my product life cycle?

What is the Fail Fast philosophy?

This philosophy, coming from a software and application development principle, encourages entrepreneurs to market a product or an application quickly, and then measure its efficiency and consumer acceptance. If the product is not well-received, production or maintenance is interrupted and it's time to move on to another project. This offers the ability to test product marketing quickly and stop making efforts and wasting money if the product does not reach set objectives. In this way, startups can focus their resources on a more promising project.

An example: Microsoft Band intelligent watch

Although Microsoft is not a startup, the Microsoft Band life cycle demonstrates this issue well. After 2 generations and 2 years on the market, production stopped (without any plans for a Band 3) and complementary applications were kept to a minimum. Thankfully, this is a major organization and we can assume that it will maintain a minimum of device security and maintenance for a few years to come.

[img]montre-intelligente-microsoft-band.jpg|600|center|true|Un exemple : la montre intelligente Microsoft Band|[/img]

Rooting for the little guy

Nothing can guarantee that data stored, often in the cloud, will remain accessible. After all, why would the provider pay to host data and services once it is no longer operational? If you're lucky, the developer could warn you and let you, for a short period of time, retrieve your raw data. In other cases, you could discover too late that the organization is no longer operational and therefore your data irretrievable.

If your data is still available, will the provider keep updating the application when a new iOS or Android version is launched?

Learn about the manufacturer

With the technology sector seeing an ever growing number of small businesses full of goodwill and good ideas, an array of new applications and useful, innovative and especially "smart" devices are also appearing on the market.

Unfortunately, a good idea or product is not always a guarantee of success for these businesses. So when you choose to use a new application to simplify your work or share your data, learn about the product manufacturer. As useful as an application may be, could it jeopardize the safety of your organization or the continuity of your operations?

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