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NewsTilt: What went wrong

September 17th, 2010Posted by in Business, Journalism, Online Journalism

Earlier this year we reported that NewsLabs, the company behind the NewsTilt platform, appeared to have been closed by its founders.

NewsTilt, which launched in April, aimed to provide a place for journalists to publish their work and increase direct interaction with readers.

Journalism.co.uk had contacted one of the founders Paul Biggar to try and find out what went wrong following its demise and Biggar has now composed a detailed piece looking at why he thinks it failed, as well as the right choices made along the way. His comments may be useful reading for other online news start-ups:

NewsLabs failed because of internal problems and problems with the NewsTilt product. NewsTilt failed because:

  • journalists stopped posting content;
  • we never had a large number of readers;
  • we were very slow to produce the features we had promised;
  • we did not have the money to fix the issues with NewsTilt, and it would have been tough to raise more.

None of these problems should have been unassailable, which leads us to why NewsLabs failed as a company:

  • Nathan and I had major communication problems;
  • we weren’t intrinsically motivated by news and journalism;
  • making a new product required changes we could not make;
  • our motivation to make a successful company got destroyed by all of the above.

See his full post here…

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