Some thoughts about failure

Many people suffer from a fear of failure.

I know people that use this fear as a way to avoid risks. They won’t take a job at an early stage startup. Or they will sell a company early because they are afraid of looking and feeling bad if it ultimately doesn’t turn out well. 

There are countless examples of letting this fear get the better of you. 

And I know other folks that use this fear as a motivator for striving to be the best. They try to conquer their fears on a daily basis by paying more attention to their will to create something awesome. 

The folks in the latter category have my respect.  They are human and they are winning. 

In startup land, most early stage companies don’t work out and they fall short of the early founders and early VCs expectation. Big risk and big reward. 

Often times the journey itself is the reward. That’s what led me to startups in the first place. I never thought or obsessed about how much my WebTV options would be worth one day. i was more obsessed about whether we could a difference. 

The one thing i notice with some VCs and some hiring execs is their sometimes lack of appreciation of failure. Especially when the VC and startup ecosystem requires a huge amount of failure.  I look at it differently and wonder about people that have never failed. 

Instead of dismissing a candidate with, “he/she must not be very good, that company was a failure”, I think it’s much more helpful to pay attention to what that person actually accomplished and attempted to accomplish. 

And many times, giving people a second chance or even a third chance can create amazing results. 

It can be a challenge but I encourage all of us to be proud of our failures and take the time to learn some valuable lessons.