The Hard Truth of Knowing When To Wind Down Your Startup

Before you get started, make sure you’ve thought through the endgame

Joe Procopio
4 min readDec 2, 2021
image by dcstudio on freepik

Every good entrepreneur starts a new business with the best of intentions. And every good entrepreneur — even the best of them — will face more than one moment during their tenure as a company leader when they wonder if this whole startup thing might have been such a great idea after all.

There are a lot of reasons why startups shut down. Starting any business is a proposition marked by a lack of security and a lack of support. In fact, those are your only guarantees.

No risk? No reward.

But there’s one particular kind of startup shutdown that can be avoided. And it’s when the founders let their best intentions get ahead of their best defense.

That best defense is belief.

A company never shuts its doors without people getting hurt

The only question is how many people and how much hurt.

This is something I reiterated in an answer to an investor’s question in this week’s issue of Teaching Startup (#84). It seems one of his portfolio companies told him they just weren’t satisfied with the traction they were getting, and…



Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building & GROWERS. Write at and More at