Mi Media Manzana Founder Outlines Lessons From Startup Failure

Co-founder of Mi Media Manzana (MMM) César Hoshi has published a personal blog post explaining six lessons he learnt during his time at the failed startup dating app.

He hopes that the post will prove valuable to other first time entrepreneurs in the industry, and that it will prevent them from making the same mistakes that he did.

MMM was once the largest dating app created by developers based in Latin America having, at its peak, more than 2.5 million users. However, an unsuccessful pivot to a freemium structure ultimately led to it shutting down for good last month.

Hoshi believes that a lack of commitment to the app’s original values was one of the main contributors to its downfall.

He wrote: “We built MMM with this purpose: create a dating site where you can find a compatible partner for a long-term relationship. 

“The first version of the product responded directly to this. Since we lacked results, though, we made many decisions for changing the product. Without even noticing it, our new versions didn’t respond anymore to the purpose!”

The former Product Manager also admitted that at one point the team were just giving users random matches, without any thought for compatibility. They only focused on making conversations start rather than aiding successful relationships.

Another factor in MMM’s failure was the speed at which they tried to expand to new markets. Rather than focusing on maintaining a substantial user base in Peru, the product was quickly rolled out to neighbouring countries like Colombia and Mexico.

The lack of knowledge about marketing and dating cultures in these new territories meant MMM didn’t make the desired splash upon launch.

Other details highlighted by Hoshi included an avoidance of uncomfortable discussions about major problems, and a lack of overall teamwork.

He is now working as a Product Manager at Rappi, an on-demand delivery startup in South America.

Read more here.