Lessons From a Failed Startup: The Overview

Many say you learn more from your failures than your successes. I believe this to be absolutely true in business as well as most other aspects of life. And you can also learn quite a bit from the stories of failures from others.

So, as promised when I announced that my company was shutting down, I’ll be posting a collection of thoughts on what I feel are some of the big learning lessons in this experience of running an Internet startup and its subsequent failure.

When I talk to non-entrepreneurs about what occurred, I often get a sad “I’m so sorry that happened” kind of reaction on the startup’s failure. For an entrepreneur though, it’s honestly the opposite sentiment (or at least it should be in order to be successful).

Failure for an entrepreneur is like a badge of honor. You will start another company and now you have the benefit of a whole host of prior mistakes than can hopefully be avoided. Very few successful entrepreneurs have had success without failures (usually large ones) along the way.

This may sound like a rationalization of business failure, but there are numerous examples.

Many of my lessons learned will be in relation to a web-based startup, but even these still tend to be applicable to any business.

Either way, I hope the examination of my specific mistakes help other entrepreneurs (and those looking to become one) and spark further discussion so we can all learn.

Tom currently works in developer relations for IBM Watson. A serial entrepreneur, he's been the founder of numerous startups including Investify and StatsMix, a Techstars alumni company. Tom lives outside Boulder, Colorado and in his free time he's an avid rock climber, skier, and trail runner.

3 comments On Lessons From a Failed Startup: The Overview

  • Tom,

    Well I can’t wait to read you follow-on post. As an entrepreneur I don’t see anything as a failure but rather has a learning experience and a part of the journey. I know that what happened with your last venture will be key to your next success.

  • Hey, really enjoying your blog and I'm totally hungry for this sort of writing (I'm currently in the process of starting up a niche web based business), so thanks for putting your experiences up and I'll eagerly read any more follow up articles.

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