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Secret shuts down, just 14 months after it was dubbed the next big thing

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 30 Apr 2015 13:38

Secret shuts down, just 14 months after it was dubbed the next big thing Secret, the iOS and Android app that allowed users to share messages anonymously, has shut down for good.
Founder David Byttow posted the decision in an aptly named post called "Sunset" as the site will shut down a mere 14 months after being dubbed the next big thing by venture capitalists and given a value near $100 million.

Here is the post in its entirety:

After a lot of thought and consultation with our board, I've decided to shut down Secret.

This has been the hardest decision of my life and one that saddens me deeply. Unfortunately, Secret does not represent the vision I had when starting the company, so I believe it's the right decision for myself, our investors and our team.

I'm extremely proud of our team, which has built a product that was used by over 15 million people and pushed the boundaries of traditional social media. I believe in honest, open communication and creative expression, and anonymity is a great device to achieve it. But it's also the ultimate double-edged sword, which must be wielded with great respect and care. I look forward to seeing what others in this space do over time.

I will spend the next couple of weeks doing what I believe is right to wind down Secret gracefully. While a majority of the team has already moved on to other exciting opportunities, I will dedicate most of my time to helping the core team find their next roles. We curated one of the most amazingly talented teams I've ever had the privilege of working with and I am certain each of them will go on to do great work at the very lucky companies that are able to hire them.

Secret, Inc. still has a significant amount of invested capital, but our investors funded the team and the product, and I believe the right thing to do is to return the money rather than attempt to pivot. Innovation requires failure, and I believe in failing fast in order to go on and make only new and different mistakes.

Over time, I plan to publish postmortems so that others can learn from the unique mistakes and challenges we faced and the wisdom gained from such an incredible 16 months.

Thank you to everyone who supported us over the past year. What an incredible journey.

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