Sprout Labs

Why we decided to close shop.

First, a little bit of history. I started Sprout Labs while employed by Stride Consulting. Stride is a software consultancy - they help companies build software. As a consultant at Stride, I became familiar with the types of clients that Stride typically worked with and the types of clients that Stride didn't typically work with. Stride didn't work with early, pre- product-market-fit companies. At the same time, I began using no-code tools, like Bubble.io, in my spare time to build “fake” products. After a few months of exploration, I approached the Stride leadership team with an idea to spin up a “no-code service offering”. That would eventually become Sprout Labs, which was created to understand if there was a market for building products with companies, using no-code tools. I had a clear charter, and 9 months to run this “experiment”.

Sprout Labs was shut down for the simple reason that we didn't make enough money. I shut down Sprout Labs 6 months after it started because I didn't see a way to hit the metrics defined in the charter. Although the experiment failed, it didn't fail completely; I had dozens of calls with potential buyers, worked with a handful of clients, helped those clients launch products, and made some money. I also learned quite a bit along the way. My biggest takeaways from the past months are that it’s better to ask for help before I need it, instead of after, and that hard things get easier once I ask for help.

I’m forever grateful to Stride, for giving me the time and resources to run this experiment.

- Stephen