Nice post, Helena. I think your points on failing well are solid. In terms of failing early, I think I would add that a founder should not try to drag on the inevitable. As ambitious and “crazy” as founders can be, I think deep down you know when the business or team is not working and rather than prolong what is likely to be a doomed scenario, it is better to fail early and reduce the damage. If you cannot see any hope in turning around your business because at the end of the day the idea is not good or the market is not there, then I think it is better to stop wasting yours and other people’s time and money. As you said, it is wiser to return whatever money is left, mend the relationships, and take some time off to reflect on what went wrong.
Great post, Julia. I agree that our society places too much of a stigma on failure. Sure, it is not ideal, but in the case of founders, I think it places pressure on them to take unnecessary risk when things are not working out. Founders engage in financially irresponsible behavior in the hopes that their next pivot is the breakthrough they hoped for. Sure we hear of all the glorified stories where this happened, but I’m sure there’s countless other stories where the pivot didn’t work and the founders created financial stress for themselves, friends, family, etc. I think we need to hear more stories from founders who decided to walk away from their ventures to avoid harming themselves and the people around them. It might not be as thrilling as the story of Apple, Facebook, etc., but it is important to give other aspiring founders a reality check that it is okay to fail and that it does not mean you are bound to a life of doom.
Thanks for sharing, Sergio! I agree that taking the jump into the startup world gives you an adrenaline rush and allows to you to really use your creative muscles and figure out how to succeed. The uncertainty of whether or not your venture is going to work along with the knowledge that it is really a matter of how much effort you put into the business really drives people. However, I’m sure the experience can also be scarring to some and cause them to stay away from entrepreneurship. I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on what differentiates people who continue pursuing new ventures versus others who decide to pursue a more stable, “corporate” life.
Thanks for sharing, Sarah. As you mentioned, I think one of the biggest impediments for fostering intrapreneurship these days has been the hype around joining a start up. Would be intraprenuers are attracted to start ups because of the possibility of a hefty payout and public recognition; two things they likely won’t receive at a large corporation. Of course, the truth is that 90% of start ups fail (http://www.forbes.com/sites/neilpatel/2015/01/16/90-of-startups-will-fail-heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-10/), so if someone has a great idea for a product, working within a large corporation will afford them greater opportunities to make the product a success. My question is, how do we change the mindset of future generations so that they will choose to be an entrepreneur at a large company rather than taking a gamble by joining a start up?
Great post, Nancy! From my previous experiences, I have seen how loyalty can make or break a company. We often talk about the loyalty of founders, but loyalty from employees is incredibly important. If you do not create a culture that makes employees feel like they are valued, it is tough to expect them to go above and beyond to help your company succeed. After all, employees’ monetary incentives will not be as pronounced as those of the founders.
I like the examples you gave of companies that have used loyalty to successfully implement strategy. It is clear that loyalty makes employees buy into the strategy and help with its successful implementation. It also dictates the success of hiring efforts. Loyal employees speak highly of your company and in turn this helps you attract better talent.