I had a very interesting discussion during the UnConference Event, where one of the participants was telling me how she feared how the community would react if her business failed and that prevented her from taking actions that were not in her comfort zone. This is a huge problem in Iceland. I get the feeling that people think that failure is a bad thing. I embrace failure and I am fearless about my business ventures. There is no other way to look at the abyss of Entrepreneurship. I remember Steve Jobs seminal talk in Stanford and I wrote about it many times.
It is impossible to connect the dots looking forward, it was very very clear looking backward 10 years later. Again, you cannot connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking back. You have to trust the dots will somehow connect in the future, you have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever… because believing that the dots will connect down the road, will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads off the well worn path and that would make all the difference.
Almost everyone looks at Silicon Valley as this role model of building a startup ecosystem, and I wonder if Silicon Valley would have become such an ecosystem without the leadership of Research oriented organizations and companies that embraced failure as a way to learn to improve on their experiments. Mark Suster had a post about this where he was interviewing Steve Blank and their discussion is extremely illustrative of the nature of Silicon Valley. I believe a Culture that embraces failure and has the buffer to support those who dare to challenge the norm and improve the community need to be embraced. I also believe those who take chances on those type of individuals need to be embraced because without capital the challenges of experimentation is made doubly hard. Here is the video interview of Mark:
- Why “The Culture of Failure” is Imperative to Startup Communities (businessinsider.com)
- The Seven Commandments of Silicon Valley (forbes.com)
- Silicon Valley reality TV show ‘Start-Ups’ set to premiere (mercurynews.com)
- Bloomberg BusinessWeek Rips Bravo’s Silicon Valley Reality Show, Calls Its Stars ‘Shallower Than A Dinner Plate’ (businessinsider.com)
- ‘Start-Ups’: A Lifeless Take on Silicon Valley (businessweek.com)
- Why Can’t Silicon Valley Take a Joke? (nymag.com)