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Why failure isn’t the worst outcome

July 23rd, 2008

homerHere’s a pretty insightful post-mortem from a failed startup. Key lessons learned (stated in the positive): start small and get feedback; have a good partner; pick a good market. To me, the most interesting thing about this story is how it highlights how failure isn’t the worst outcome. He concludes:

“It’s not really the end of my startup journey – I suspect there will be other startups in my future, both as an employee and hopefully as a founder. But it’s the end of this startup. I’m a little sad about that, but I have no regrets about having started it.”

He is spot on. At a minimum, a true failure like this gives the founder an important experience to draw on in the future, especially when you can be as honest and thoughtful about the failure as this entrepreneur is.

So what’s the worst outcome? Mediocrity. If you languish around making tiny steps forward, and a few backward, you can more easily delude yourself to chase the mirage that’s just around the next corner. This entrepreneur, although his current venture has failed, can live to fight another day on a better battleground.

Congrats to Jonathan Tang for avoiding mediocrity and may his next venture be the best outcome, success!

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