Recently, I've seen proposals for sites on startup businesses get closed on sight, with no regard to fulfilling the minimum requirements, with a note that there have already been two failed sites regarding startups and that "Stack Exchange is no longer interested in creating a site in this space".

Why are these proposals being closed immediately, on sight? (I'm looking for an answer that explains the details of what happened to new users here, who don't have any idea of the history of the two past sites and are maybe wondering why their proposal was closed without any chance to see the requirements fulfilled.)

2 Answers 2


After two iterations in this subject space, we ultimately had to close TWO sites on this topic. We worked hard to keep the second site open with many initiatives to keep it going. During the second iteration, the bar for keeping the site open was extremely low: all they needed was a user or two to step up to check on flags and keep spam off the site (Moderate), but after months of begging anyone to step up, they couldn't even muster that. After years of declining traffic and no one to moderate the site, we were ultimately forced to close the second Startups SE.

Here is the original closure notice:

3 years ago, this site made it into public beta, as announced here (broken link removed). It was not without some level of trepidation — [The previous iteration of] Startups had previously been on the network and resulted in closure due to the lack of any remaining moderation hands on the site resulting in its quality dropping. So it was stated when we hit public beta:

Startups SE now has as long as it takes to work through the public beta phase, provided that the site doesn't become a deserted ghost town of run-down buildings full of broken windows. Put simply, unless we see the site overrun with extremely poor quality questions and spam, and no one doing anything about it, you've got a site.

I'm afraid to announce that we've run into the latter case. For months, the moderator team has functionally consisted of a single active individual, who wishes to step down, and others who have been inactive for varyingly large portions of the year and beyond. To combat this, we hosted a call for candidates. For several weeks, it met with a single volunteer, a user who is relatively new but at least stood forward. And only one downvote in response to the nomination, the closest to any form of acknowledgment of the process.

This led us to do further investigation into the health of the site, and the news was not good. Several bad questions get asked on the main site, maybe get a downvote or two, maybe get a close vote or two, but these result in no actual closures or cleanup. In the worst case scenario, blatant spam remained on the site, flagged but unaddressed, for four whole days.

The meta site is mostly a ghost town, indicating moreso that there is no real backing on the site. Not only is the meta front page largely consisting of the community user bumping ancient posts, but it dates all the way back to 2015 before you cross halfway into the scroll. It's very reflective in the response we saw in our call for moderation and the lack of care on the main site.

The proposal author also handwaved their way through the requirements for this proposal. The community they claimed was organizing this effort had only a brief mention of it in a post a day earlier… without support.

If you do not yet have a community organized, ready and eager to build your site, please do not submit this proposal.

They submitted it anyway.

I'm sorry I do not have better news for you. We've already closed two sites in this subject, so we are not inclined to just try again without a significant commitment from an organization that can demonstrate drastically improved backing in this space.


I wasn't here for the first iteration of Startup Business, but for Startups, it failed to attract a sustainable community. Instead, people would show up, ask a question, and leave once they got their answer. Meanwhile, the original group of users slowly left, and eventually it reached a point where there weren't enough people to keep the site cleaned up and answer questions.

A site failing twice in a row is a pretty good sign that it's not going to succeed on further tries.

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