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Stephen Fry’s start-up Pushnote folds

Thursday, 21 June 2012 | By Oliver Milman

weekend-reads-stephen-fryTo his 4.5 million Twitter followers, Stephen Fry’s leap into tech entrepreneurship would’ve seemed quite logical.


He is evidently very intelligent. He has a huge media presence. And he has a genuine love of all things tech – regularly writing about his latest gadgets.


So there were high hopes when he launched web commenting platform Pushnote last year. Alas, it didn’t last the distance, with the start-up shutting up shop last week. 


A note on the site's homepage said: “It was a difficult decision, not least because we loved the great content shared on Pushnote, and we’re sorry we can no longer support the site."


“As an innovative social platform, Pushnote was always a bit of an experiment. It was a lot of fun and we made a lot of friends, but our passions have led us elsewhere."


“The people behind Pushnote have been dreaming up new ideas for some time, and those ideas have come to eclipse Pushnote, so it’s time to move on.”


Pushnote aimed to simplify the online commenting process by removing the need for users to log in to different websites.


However, it was labelled a "turkey" and a "hopeless browser plug-in" by tech review site The Register, which pointed out that it required users to download new software, unlike rivals such as Disqus. The start-up was also criticised for not allowing website owners to remove Pushnote comments on their own content.


Fortunately for Fry, he has other interests to fall back on in order to earn a crust, but other entrepreneurs aren’t so lucky.


So, do you have what it takes to make the leap? Here’s a handy list of seven questions you should ask yourself about the realities of going it alone.


A business partner can often help matters of course. Here’s some great tips on how you can improve your network in order to snare the right partner, while this salutary tale shows what can go wrong if you make a bad choice.


Did you know the number of millionaires in Asia outstripped North America for the first time ever this year? It’s true.


Finally, have you lost your start-up mojo but aren’t sure why? Here’s four possible reasons why you’re floundering.