Well the story for Producteev sounds like millions of other startups, a roller coaster. We did hit a pretty hardcore roadblock though.
I started the company in 2008, we launched the first private beta early 2009. We had quite a lot of press coverage in 2009, so a bunch of people were trying out our service. By the end of 2009, we had 15,000 users in our private beta, but almost no one was using it. The product wasn’t sticky at all.
We ran out of money at the same time. 4 employees, no customer, hardly any active user, I was already 2 months late to pay my team’s salaries. Most of my first investors were telling me to shut down the company and go do something else. But I didn’t want to. I knew we were close. But we had to raise money and hire engineers so we could build a V2, I had the product in mind.
Against all odds, I went out to raise a series A. And a miracle happened. I was pitching at an event in NYC, and some guy I didn’t know came to see me at the end (The Chancelor of NY City Public Schools by the way), and said to me, I will introduce you to this VC firm, they’ll love what you do, they’ll invest in you.
2 months later, in February 2010, the round was closed, and we grew from 4 to 8 team members. July 2010, we released Producteev 2, and the rest is history :)
Don’t ever give up if your guts tell you that it’s not the end yet.