## [[8+ Lessons to be learned from Blink My Car’s Failure]] **Blink My Car** (BMC) was a Lebanese startup company that delivered on-demand car cleaning services in Beirut; a very promising premise. Two short years after its launch, Blink My Car announced it will cease its operations. Blink My Car was doing great. Delivering a great service, building a really nice brand, attracting the attention of local and regional investors, all while also doing a favor to our planet, saving its water. It is definitely sad seeing a promising Lebanese startup reach a dead-end. But it is also a great opportunity to learn something from their story. PS. I have no information on the real reasons for closure. The below are merely some observations and some learning opportunities for myself and for fellow entrepreneurs. Here are eight lessons we can learn from this startup’s story: **Big investments do not guarantee success.** Many entrepreneurs think of investments as the light at the end of the tunnel; it’s all they need to make it! Most entrepreneurs attribute their failure to the lack of investment. [Only 6 months ago](https://www.wamda.com/2017/06/lebanese-car-wash-app-blink-car-raises-money), BMC’s seed round got them $1.2M, an amount most Lebanese entrepreneurs can only dream of. A number that you, as a Lebanese entrepreneur, would think could take you to the moon and back. You will later realize that some challenges are tougher than the money you have. **_UPDATE_**_: Through insider information the following was clarified. While BMC raised $1.2M, the startup did not burn through the whole amount before closure. Only ~$200K were used before the company decided that the smart decision is to cease operations._ **_Bonus lesson_**_: Respect your investors, and do not burn through money just because you have it!_ **Celebrities and ads don’t make a successful business.** BMC did a great job exposing their brand to their target market. Their first video ad went viral. The concept was great. Everyone loved them. This didn’t seem to translate to customers though. A common mistake among many startups is believing that advertising gets them business traction; some throw a lot of advertising money on their problems. Doesn’t work. **_UPDATE_**_: Through insider information the following was clarified. The advertising campaign referred here was bootstrapped and pulled-off at nearly zero cost using founder resources, connections, and skills._ **_Bonus lesson 2_**_: Build a network of valuable connections, and think of creative ways to generate impactful campaigns at the lowest cost possible._ **Eco-friendly? Who cares?** BMC claims to save 250 liters of water per wash. Awesome! But in a real world, Who cares? Customers don’t generally care if your product is Eco-friendly or socially responsible. People will buy your product because it’s good for THEM not because it’s good for the environment. Being socially or environmentally responsible should be the icing on the top, it will never work as the batter of the cake. **Changing people’s habits isn’t easy.** Whether it is the way you use public transportation, or the way you order food, or even buy your groceries, all businesses that tried to change these habits had to do a lot of aggressive awareness campaigns and work on creative “growth hacking” strategies to convince potential customers to adopt their services. You might be used to washing your car on the weekend on your way to your village, or maybe asking your building’s janitor to take it over to the gas station, or simply ignoring it until you forget what color lies under the dust. Whatever your habit is, changing it is tough. A business trying to change people’s habits is not an easy business. **Great customer service goes a long way.** Blink My Car had loyal fans! Their customer service was on par with international standards. I even once got a personalized email from the CEO after a small complaint I made. Whatever your product is, it is not worth much without great customer service. Some tech giants such as Amazon, eBay, and Zappos were built on that premise alone. **Customers might compromise one thing, not everything.** Nothing is perfect. This is what allows for competitive businesses that cater for different needs and priorities. BMC wanted to cater for those who value their time, hence paying a premium for a quick convenient service at your doorstep. Service businesses are built on three factors, Speed/Convenience, Price, and Quality. And just like your favorite superhero, or video game character, you can’t get it all, and that is fine. However, with BMC, I found that all three were compromised. I tried Blink My Car once. So the below is based on a single personal experience. _Price —_ Needless to say, BMC services were priced at a premium. 2 to 3 times the average market rate for washing your car. But, what is that premium for? _Speed?—_ From the minute I placed my order until I was handed back my keys, I had to wait a total of 2 hours. Any one who has taken their car to a car wash know that it takes much less than this, even on a busy day. Convenience, their major value proposition, was totally lacking in my case. _Quality?_ — The fact that BMC is a mobile service, they are naturally very limited with their tools. They used a handheld vacuum cleaner which is not nearly as effective as the real thing. They used chemical sprays instead of water jets, which also limited how clean the car can get, and only one person worked on your car, which limited speed and attention to detail. You get the idea. It wasn’t as clean as the real thing. I would have been willing to compromise one of the above, probably two. I’m fine with a super fast, not so clean service, or a super clean not so fast service. But paying a premium for a slow, sub-par cleaning service? Didn’t make much sense. Disclaimer: This was a one time incident which might not represent their general practices. **You can’t solve your problem by trying to solve 10 others.** At one point, Blink My Car started introducing other services, and some times irrelevant services, extremely prematurely. Instead of trying to solve the problem of “not enough people using our car cleaning service”, BMC introduced a motor-bike cleaning service. Now having to market for two segments, this only might have dug them deeper into their hole. BMC also introduced some awesome, yet very irrelevant, services, from taking your car for the annual inspection (dreading the fact that I have to do that this week), to paying your annual registration fees. It clearly is no more about blinking your car. Trying to solve more problems, and targeting more markets prematurely will only dilute your business development and marketing efforts. **Know when to say goodbye.** Admitting defeat is a tough man’s job. It takes balls to say goodbye. Blink My Car did it so gracefully while still being the great brand we knew. Don’t keep dragging your business when you know it’s over. Originally published on [Medium](https://medium.com/hackernoon/7-lessons-to-be-learned-from-blink-my-cars-failure-f77972e255a2) > [!seealso] Related Thoughts > > Related thougts will appear here when available.