What Is Failure? Cass Phillipps@webwallflower Dictionary: Lack Of Success. Not accomplishing your goal(s) An action or result that disappoints yourself or others NOTE: These are all based on personal perception, and cannot be determined until after the fact…
So…Set Realistic Goals Cass Phillipps@webwallflower Dream big, but work small. If you never feel like you’ve succeeded, you’ll burn out. Take a moment to celebrate success. You define your personal success or failure. Don’t be afraid to dream big, but don’t set yourself up for misery.
Be Small and Quick Cass Phillipps@webwallflower Measure regularly so you can spot problems immediately. Keep changes simple to make it easier to identify problems. Small changes are more manageable and actionable. You should be constantly releasing & iterating. If you aren’t, you are on the road to failure.
Act Fast Cass Phillipps@webwallflower If the metrics show a goal isn’t being reached, do NOT:Ignore the problemWait for more dataBlame others Try something new; try lots of somethings! A/B test it all. Trust your gut. If something feels wrong; act on it! Most founders I know say they felt a problem LONG before they acted on it. Be aware of those feelings.
Communicate Cass Phillipps@webwallflower Have trusted mentors, both personal and professional. Check-in with your team regularly and get a sense of how they feel. Talk with your users. Hear their struggles, and let them know when things are fixed. You can catch problems long before they escalate if you have more perspectives to see it from.
Get A Life Cass Phillipps@webwallflower Nope, not just a elementary school insult… Having hobbies, habits, activities, and friends outside of work helps you stay active in difficult work times. Having eclectic tastes and tasks helps you approach company problems from a new perspective. Staying engaged with an outside community helps you bounce back.
But… Cass Phillipps@webwallflower Maybe It’s Just a Failure… Now What?
Take Responsibility Cass Phillipps@webwallflower You were the founder and CEO – in the end, this is your fault. Don’t shift the blame to others. Apologize to everyone involved. If you want to work with someone again, in that apology also explain what went wrong and what you learned. Thank everyone who supported you along the way.
Stay Engaged Cass Phillipps@webwallflower Talk with others. Get their feedback and share what you learned. While you emotionally & fiscally recover, help others with their projects. Re-discover what new innovations and ideas are out there. Help create a safe environment for yourself and others; one where all can share & learn.
Why Is This Important? Cass Phillipps@webwallflower You are going to fail; it is inevitable. We need to stop judging one another by our failures and focus on how we got out of them. You can’t perfectly replicate a success, ever. It’s a lot of market luck. But you can learn from failure. Until you’ve failed, you either take careless risks (feeling invincible), or no risks (out of fear.) Once you fail, you reassure yourself you can handle it.
To Learn More Cass Phillipps@webwallflower I love hearing about mistakes made and lessons learned.Or just answering questions and sharing ideas! Email: Cass@webwallflower.com Twitter: @webwallflower