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Course 2 Failure Day Supplementary Reading


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  • Charleston Digital Corridor 05/27/11
  • Charleston Digital Corridor 05/27/11
  • Transcript

    • 1. De-Pe Failure Day
    • 2. Overview of failure
      • Succeed and failure are not mutually exclusive
      • Often what seems like an overnight success, can be attributed
        • years of hard work
        • persistence
        • learning from mistakes and failures.
    • 3. Failure in Chile
      • Chilean culture harshly punishes failure in general.
      • It is difficult to be an entrepreneur in a society that punishes failure.
    • 4. The Truth
      • Most successful startups / people had failures at one time.
      • Failure is important learning process .
      • The ability to accept failure is an important characteristic of entrepreneurs.
    • 5. How to Deal with Failure (1/3)
      • Failure IS NOT FINAL
        • Failure isn’t permanent or a part of you
        • Look at mistakes, as outcomes or results , NOT as permanent and personal
      • “ People don’t Fail, it is the Plan, Strategies and Tactics that Fail.”
      • - Paul Mc.Kenna
    • 6. How to Deal with Failure (2/3)
      • Take responsibility for failure and Learn a lesson from it
        • After a failure most people want to forget or hide their failure in shame.
        • It’s even easier to just blame failure on someone.
        • Important to analyze and learn from your mistakes even if its hard.
      • “ I have not Failed, I have learnt 9,999 ways that won’t work.” - Thomas Edison
    • 7. How to Deal with Failure (3/3)
      • Failure can lead to good things
        • Even after a failure many entrepreneurs find that skill they learn + contacts or collaborators they worked with on their startup end up being a huge value in their next venture
      • Malcolm Forbes put it, "Failure is success if we learn from it."
    • 8. How to Guarantee Failure
      • The worst way to fail is to not start!
      • The #1 problem people have is they just don’t do it
      • Actually starting a startup is very different than learning about startups.
      • You can read about something 100 times but if you make a mistake with your own time and money involved there is NO WAY you will forget those lessons
      • Experience trumps book learning
    • 9. Why Startups Fail (1/3)
      • Startups fail from unproven assumptions. Josh Kopelman: “What’s the bet?”
      • Identify key assumptions
      • Spend as little money as you can to prove your assumptions
      • Go out side of the building to find your answer
    • 10. MANDATORY Question
      • List some of the major assumptions for your business idea.
          • Hint: A big assumption most companies make is that people will care about / pay for their products!
      Please answer this question at
    • 11. Why Startups Fail (2/3)
      • More startups fail from a lack of customers than from a failure of product development.
        • Nobody knows what the market really needs.
        • You have to push your product out in order to better listen and learn from the market.
        • Start selling now! You do not need to have a company to sell new ideas to customers.
        • This class focuses on using customer discovery process to create products that fit with the market.
    • 12. Why Startups Fail (3/3)
      • Mike Maples: “You Have to Be Willing to Throw it all away”.
        • Investing a months of time in an idea, it’s hard to let it go and move on to the next one.
        • Better to push a minimal viable product out and validate your idea quickly – we’ll show you how to do this
    • 13. Failure leading to new businesses models
      • Pivot is changing your business model (not just iterating on your product)
        • It’s the equivalent of taking a hit (no product traction) and spinning (product pivot) to find another path to the goal (product market fit).
    • 14. Product pivot
      • Stop fretting about your idea.
        • Flickr was a game.
        • Twittr was group SMS.
        • Youtube was a dating site.
        • Majority of companies end up with different ideas than they started with!
      • Build. Ship. Pivot. Repeat.
    • 15. Other types of pivots
      • Vudu – distribution model pivot
        • Went from selling hardware boxes (only a few thousand sold after $30m in investment to embedding their software int TV sets and DVD players)
      • Ngmoco – pricing pivot
        • Went from selling $40 games on iPhone to $2 games
    • 16. Pivot versus Iterate
      • Red laser (Iterate)
        • Showed grandma how easy this new app and it turned out it was completely foreign to her; she just had no idea how to use it!
        • Still believe in product and market, iterate to make it better
      • Invite Media (Pivot)
        • No traction with online video, hit a wall, switched to advertising exchange
        • Grew to $100m valutation in 2 years after pivot
    • 17. MANDATORY Discussion
      • Give an example of a company that pivoted.
      Please answer this question at
    • 18.
      • Questions?
    • 19.
      • Thank You