Failing Gracefully: Minnesota Startup Altsie Closes It’s Doors

Back in April we brought you an interview with Lucas Rayala, the founder of Minnesota startup Altsie. Altsie provided a new socially charged way for independent movie go-ers to enjoy independent films.

Altsie built partnerships with independent film producers and local businesses to show movies in their establishments. The platform brought more customers to local businesses, let independent film fans comingle with each other and served as a platform for independent film producers to have their movies screened.

Back in April it seemed that things were chugging along for Rayala and Altsie.  Altsie was showing films in the Twin Cities, getting press from the likes of Paul Carr at Pando Daily, and Rayala had even had the chance to meet with Tony Hsieh at the Downtown project in Las Vegas.

But two years creating Altsie and 8 months running it was taking a toll on Rayala’s psyche all the way around. He writes in this piece at that he was overweight for the first time in his life, he was losing touch with his new wife Kathryn, and he was smoking more and drinking more.

While many of us startup go-hards constantly try to one up each other with stories about sleeping on floors, eating ramen or not sleeping at all, startup life can take it’s toll.

To compound these issues for Rayala, he also continued to work a full time job which meant in between contacting movie distributors, venues, designers, customers and friends he actually had a job to do.

Unlike many startup founders Rayala found it inside himself to gracefully exit, and shut down Altsie. He could have kept going, but he made the conscious decision to say enough is enough. Often times this is one of the hardest things for a startup founder or entrepreneur to do.

In an email to his cofounders Rayala wrote:

“I’m folding up Altsie. It’s been a great experience but we didn’t get the outside interest I was hoping for, and I want to end things neatly instead of bludgeoning a great project to death over time. Want to have a postmortem beer?”

Do you know when to say when?

Read Rayala’s personal account of “Killing Your Startup On A Thursday Night” here at


Our interview with Rayala

Source: TechCrunch

Startups “everywhere else” , this event will provide you with the most facetime with investors, ever!



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