Alex's Place

Dissecting Startups- Clutter

Jun 21, 2019

Do things that don’t scale

So goes the (new) age-old advice from VC Yoda, Paul Graham. After him, the deluge of startups transforming unsexy industries that, historically, don’t scale: Law; Container ships (and containers!—just kidding these definitely scale); Health Insurance (disclaimer: I used to work here); Home Buying; Oh—and also Home Buying; and, last but not least, Home Buying.

One unsexy industry that I want to focus on is personal storage, specifically one emerging front runner called Clutter.

Here are some basic facts about Clutter:

By most standards, Clutter is killing it, and the trades seem to agree.

Diving into the Clutter

There’s a book called Chaos Monkeys by Antonio García Martínez. It’s an entertaining enough book, but something that stuck with me was this passage:

When confronted with any startup idea, ask yourself one simple question: How many miracles have to happen for this to succeed? If the answer is zero, you’re not looking at a startup, you’re just dealing with a regular business like a laundry or a trucking business. To be a startup, miracles need to happen. But a precise number of miracles. Most successful startups depend on one miracle only. The classic sign of a shitty startup idea is that it requires at least two (or more!) miracles to succeed.

I’m not saying that Clutter is a shitty startup idea. But, I do believe it will take more than one miracle to succeed. Some ideas just based off of a cursory dive into the business:

I’d like to spend the next couple of weeks digging into this.

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