Seven incredible business mistakes that nearly meant shutting up shop

They say business mistakes are a big part of the entrepreneurial journey, but how do you recover from spectacular ones that threaten all of your hard work?
Ben Jackson SeatPlan

Ben Jackson’s business mistake was on the technology front

SeatPlan is a British ecommerce business that allows consumers to find the best value theatre tickets, with interactive seating plans and seat reviews. Its founder, Ben Jackson, told us all about his business mistakes inclusion.

Business mistakes example

We decided to build a calendar that would instantly display availability without making users wait for the data to be queried and to load. The principal idea was sound, but the technical solution was contrived. This then led to further problems and bug fixes on top of bug fixes.

Impact it had

The wrong technology choice led to approximately 25 days of development work, analysis and fixes. A basic calendar could have taken only five days.

In retrospect

The calendar technology choice should have been analysed more deeply and alarm bells should have rung after the first couple of rounds of fixes.

Resolution effort

We analysed the calendar performance and architecture comparing it to an old calendar system that we had on another project. This past knowledge steered the revised architecture.

Mistake learnings

At the time when the decision was made we were plowing forward and trying to make a lot of moving parts work together. In retrospect, we were trying to do much too quickly.

Next steps

Analysis was conducted and the system critiqued six months after creation and extensive bug fixes. When the decision was made to re-architect and redesign the on-demand calendar, the entire team was brought up to speed and all bug fixes halted so as not to burn more time on it.

Our final business mistakes example was so bad it led to the closure of a young company – but the founder has taken the learnings into his latest venture.

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About Author

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven is the editor of Real Business. He is also the editor of Business Advice, a title focused solely on a section of the business community currently underserved – micro companies. Alongside this, he is part of the team that hosts the Growing Business Awards, First Women Awards and Future 50 initiative.

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