Screwing Up

"A man's errors are his portals of discovery." - James Joyce

I once worked with a start-up that was based on exclusive, premium content -- a dumb idea on many levels, in retrospect, and the company failed. But I as an entrepreneur learned a lot. About new technologies. About building the right team for the project and what kinds of personalities are suited to a start-up. About timing the raising of capital. About recognizing the difference between true product-level failure and the normal challenges of building [or creating] something new.

But the most important piece of the experience was learning to quickly recognize when we had failed. From the time we realized we were doomed to the team's dissolution was six weeks.

Failing, while not optimal, is not terrible. But letting failure drag out saps the soul and dilutes the lessons of the failure. Get off the sinking ship. Salvage what lessons you can from the debris on the beach and get on with whatever comes next in your life.

Erik SchwartzFailure