We have talked about failure so many times already. Despite the startup mantra of “Failing Fast & Failing Forward,” I can see no benefit in failing over succeeding.
That said – of course, you will fail. Over and over again. You will fail way more often than you will succeed.
However, in my eyes, it is not about failing (or subsequent failure). It is about your path to success. Each step takes you closer to succeeding; but only if you focus on learning what worked and what did not, considering the 5-10% that worked and iterate on top of that.
Sadly that is not the reality I often observe. Many of us fail, suck it up as a necessary cost of doing a startup and start again – without putting much thought into capturing the learnings, evaluating them and creating a well-thought-out plan for our next steps.
I often ask entrepreneurs I work with to show me their failure log. Usually, I get blank stares in return. We tend to capture our learnings in our heads but not on paper (be it physical or digital). What we lose is most of the learnings from our past efforts. Moreover, with that, we stumble blindly into the future – pulling the arm on the startup slot machine and hoping that our next shot will get us to the jackpot.
As the co-founder of Motley Fool told me one night after a few beers: Be the wise fool of tough love (and capture your learnings!)