What Every Entrepreneur Needs to Understand About Failure

August 23, 2016

It’s almost become a cliché for start-ups: fail fast. But according to venture capitalist Brad Feld, prospective entrepreneurs do need to critically reassess their understanding of failure if they are to succeed in the modern world of technology.

Feld, who has had huge success investing in technology brands such as Zynga and Fitbit, told BlueNotes on video it was important for entrepreneurs to get through the struggle of defining the components of failure.

“It’s one thing to talk about the financial failure of a business,” he said. “But you can have a business that is not financially successful but still has characteristics that are successful.

“The absolute success/failure characteristic, which as humans is a big part of our measurement… if you’re going to be a great entrepreneur you have to transcend that pretty early on.”

Feld mentioned fellow VC Jerry Colonna’s views on the importance of radical self-inquiry and how the journey can more important than the result.

“As a founder, you’re on a journey,” Feld said. “A journey, by definition, is going to have lots of things that work and lots of things that don’t. If you try to have a journey that’s a straight line between Point A and Point B you will be fundamentally unsatisfied.”

“Instead if you approach it with this notion of ‘How can I learn more about myself as I’m on this journey as an entrepreneur?’ it becomes very powerful.”

He also touched on how an entrepreneurial culture can apply in big businesses and the similarities in entrepreneur culture in the US and Australia. Watch the video above to learn more.

Felicia Trewin is Head of Strategy & Business Optimisation, Corporate & Commercial Banking, ANZ Australia

 

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