Closing My Startup After 6 Years - Bolt Motion
After 6 years of activity, we decided to close the company that was producing and selling Bolt, the most portable electric skateboard.
This is the letter that we sent to our customers to announce we are closing the company.
After 6 years of activity, we decided to close the company that was producing and selling Bolt, the most portable electric skateboard. On the 31st of December 2020, we are closing for good.
This decision has nothing to do with the Corona crisis.
It's because we never became profitable.
Creating a physical product has a lot of challenges and tight margins. We were too small and lacked resources for growth.
Still, I am impressed by what we were able to do.
You may not know but behind Bolt, there is only my father and me. And we both have other jobs to maintain ourselves, as we don't get any money from this activity.
Closing this adventure makes me think about how we started.
I had the idea for Bolt in 2014. I was 20 years old and had just started University.
Every day, I was commuting by train to another city to go to classes. I was also walking a lot and I wanted to make everything faster. The idea I came up with was a board with wheels, a small electric skateboard.
Together with my dad, we were able to quickly build a prototype.
And since this electric skateboard was so fun to use and solved a real problem, we decided to create a better prototype and propose it to the public on an Indiegogo campaign.
I did the campaign all by myself and didn't spend anything on communication or advertising. Somehow the campaign was successful.
I remember the first 2 backers were from South Korea.
We got 200 preorders and some funds to order the necessary parts and start the company.
That is how the company started.
After lots of delays, we were able to ship the boards to the customers.
The product was well received. Many people like the design and the idea and were surprised by the power of acceleration and breaking. Of course, since it was our first design and production experience, there were some malfunctioning and design errors. (I am planning to write the complete story another time).
I want to thank the hundreds of people that bought Bolt in the last years: a huge thank you for believing in it. Around the World, there are 500 products that I built and designed, used by people.
Also, a big thank you to all people we met, all the people that helped us.
We may have never made the leap into becoming a big company but, it was a fun ride, and we learned a lot.
It's a chapter that is ending. Another one is starting.
I feel relieved now.
I am finally able to focus on different projects.
I knew for a long time that the startup was not going as expected. I felt like we tried everything we could do with the limited resources we had.
I wrote a postmortem to analyze all the mistakes we've made and what I would have changed.