EXIT: SUCCESS AND FAILURE

November 24, 2015

Read The Full Prompt

After building the organization most founders are faced with the critical decision on how to exit. In some cases, the company has succeeded in realizing value for investors and for its founder and employees. In most cases, the company has failed to earn a return. Often the company is balancing on the knife’s edge between success and failure. Small decisions tilt the balance. What are the factors that determine if a company is likely to exit successfully? If it is on a path to failure, how can the founder ensure that it ‘fails well’? What is a good failure?

Responses (51)

An Analysis of 60,000+ Startups
Vibin
Vibin
Posted on November 23, 2015 at 11:11 pm
A preliminary, data-driven look at the relationship between fundraising and exit - using data on 60,000 startups from CrunchBase.
The Grey Area between Success and Failure
Chris
Posted on November 23, 2015 at 11:39 pm
There’s no shortage of media coverage regarding startup failures and successes. Whether it be epic failures or the coveted unicorns , the media makes it seem like the expected startup outcomes make a distinct U shape. But this isn’t the [...]
Lessons for every entrepreneur facing tough times
anonymous
Last modified on November 23, 2015 at 11:34 pm
In business school we have the chance to learn not only from frameworks and theories but also from looking at what other people have done. In our Founders’ Dilemmas class at HBS we spent time learning about the experiences of [...]
How NOT to fail.
Karthik Prasad
Last modified on November 23, 2015 at 11:55 pm
Many of these blogposts are geared towards how to fail well. Well, I’d prefer to never get there. Here’s a few insights into how to mitigate the risk of failure.
Failing at Hardware
WriterOfThings
Posted on November 24, 2015 at 12:14 am
Most of the startups we think about can fit quite neatly into the asset-light, fast-iterating, lean mold– easily pivotable from spin to spin of an idea until stakeholders’ patience runs out (ala Yabbly). Hardware startups have a lot more to worry [...]
Failing with Style
Jon
Jon
Posted on November 23, 2015 at 10:25 pm
You’re burning through cash faster than you anticipated. Your look at your projections and scratch your head as the gap between your projected growth and the company’s current state only widens. You’ve tried to raise additional capital, but because of [...]
Wounded by Failure
xyz
Last modified on November 24, 2015 at 12:35 am
Psychology of failure and what can be learned from it
When to quit: Is your startup hurt or injured?
Charles
Charles
Last modified on November 23, 2015 at 11:30 pm
Your startup has hit a few roadblocks. Your cash is running low, you haven’t reached the traction you need to show market fit, your investors are losing confidence. Is it time to close up shop, or should you keep pushing [...]
5 ways to fail well
S
S
Last modified on December 16, 2015 at 11:32 am
There is a lot startup founders can do to manage their failure “successfully” Failure stinks. No one founds a company for it to fail one day, but the sad truth is than 9 out of 10 fail. Some suffer from [...]
What Do You Mean By Success?
Amelia
Last modified on November 23, 2015 at 11:12 pm
This isn't just a philosophical exercise, it's for your future sanity and well being: Every founder, before embarking on a startup, should consider their personal definition of success.
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