Startups

‘We didn’t tap into a real problem’: why Locally.fm shut down

Locally.fm wanted to help food truck vendors connect with customers by using GPS technology and text alerts. But, as founder Steve Palmer said he realized, there wasn't a need for that kind of technology.

Locally.fm wanted to help food truck vendors connect with customers by using GPS technology and text alerts.

But, as founder Steve Palmer said he realized, there wasn’t a need for that kind of technology.

“In the end we recognize that we didn’t tap into a real problem and it is hard to create the best solution for a problem that really doesn’t exist,” Palmer wrote on Locally.fm’s website and in a blog post which he sent to the Philly Startup Leaders listserv.

The startup shut down last week. It was headquartered in Lititz, Pa. in Lancaster County where Palmer lives, but Palmer took the business to Callowhill incubator Venturef0rth for a few months to be closer to the action, he said. 

Startup culture calls for entrepreneurs to “fail fast,” but it’s not always that easy to do, much less be open about it. You could see that in the more than a dozen responses to Palmer’s PSL listserv email, in which many applauded his courage in shutting down the venture and being honest about what didn’t work.

Companies: Locally.fm
People: Steve Palmer
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