On-demand shipping and fulfillment service company Shyp is no more. The start-up, founded in San Francisco in 2013 and launched a year later, is closing its doors today and laying off all of its employees, ending operations effective immediately.
Shyp CEO Kevin Gibbon made the announcement earlier today in a blog post on LinkedIn.
In it, he recounts the company’s explosive user growth early on. “Customers were pouring in and shipments were pouring out,” he said. People really seemed enthusiastic about a service that eliminated everything people disliked about shipping. But then, he says, things changed.
“Consumer growth slowed. People close to me and the business began to warn that chasing consumers was the wrong strategy. After all, how often do consumers ship things? I didn’t listen.”
Rather than changing directions, Gibbon said he “approached everything I did as an engineer” and tasked his team with expanding into new markets and coming up with new features and growth tactics. Prioritizing growth at all costs can be dangerous and it’s a trap that Gibbon admits he fell for.
Shyp did eventually make some changes – such as partnering with eBay – but it was a bit too late. As Gibbon highlights, the company’s early mistakes ended up being prohibitive to their survival. Simply put, they ran out of time and money to see the turnaround through.
Shyp may have failed and its leadership may have been to blame but there’s something refreshing about seeing someone own to up to their mistakes. Many start-ups fail but to take the blame for Shyp’s mistakes shows a lot of humility on Gibbon’s part.