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A Conference on Failure: Tell Us Something You Don’t Want Us To Know

| Monday October 26th, 2009 | 3 Comments

failconSilicon Valley is filled with swagger.  It is also one of the best places on the planet to fail.  Very  few start-ups succeed and failing seems to be encouraged.  Some investors will only invest in entrepreneurs who have failed at least twice.  The more failures under your belt, the better your chance of success at the next one. But what can we learn from failures?  Will a tale of failure prevent my start-up from sharing the same fate? I’ll find out.

Tomorrow I’ll be attending SNAP Summit’s FailCon, which is billed as the first conference to ask successful folks what went wrong and how they fixed it.  The conference is produced by Cassie Phillips who said the idea was a joke at first in response to the way “speakers love to rattle on about big successes, and brush over their mistakes.” The conference features CEOs and other leaders from companies including Meebo, Evernote, Fast Company, Slide, Zynga, Aardvark and more.

Failure is still a bit taboo – apparently sponsors were hard to come by for this conference.  But I couldn’t be more thrilled.  October is the heart of conference season, and I’m sick of hearing CEOs and investors talk about how great they are and how successful they’ve been.  Let’s be real – not every idea succeeds and there’s value to sharing the reasons many don’t.

Sound interesting to you too?  Sign up here with a 15% off TriplePundit discount. If you’ll be there too, I hope to meet.  If you can’t make it but have any specific questions in mind, let me know.

In the meantime, what are your experiences with failure and what have you learned?


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  • http://www.richworklife.com Rich


    Couldn’t agree more – time for a little humility and removal of the 20/20 hindsight. Guess its just runs so counter to positive bay area speak? Looking forward to FailCon.

    My 10 Years, 10 Lessons are guest posted here http://snapsummit.com/fail/10-years-10-lessons/ and in full at http://www.richworklife.com.

  • http://www.one-blue-marble.com Richard Levangie

    Nice lede, Amie!

  • Lion Isis

    I know Seth Sternberg of Meebo and Mark Pincus of Zynga are both MBA’s who also have experience in the corporate world. I’d be interested to hear if that is also true for any of the other speakers and how that experience has impacted their entrepreneurial endeavors. Could be an interesting piece. Another interesting angle is non-engineers starting successful technology companies.