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Failure by Omission


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"Failure by Omission" is the idea that family, friends, and loved ones around an entrepreneur have a responsibility to give constructive feedback; otherwise, if that entrepreneur fails, they too have failed by having slowed his failure or avoided giving him feedback in order to "not hurt his feelings."

This applies additionally to entrepreneurs, who have an obligation to seek constructive feedback from everyone they can, to push beyond short-worded platitudes ("Oh, we love what you're doing!") to help their startup fail faster.

Originally presented at Failcon Zurich - April 16th. 2013

Published in: Business, Technology
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Failure by Omission

  1. 1. Failcon Zurich – April 16th, 2013FAILURE BYOMISSIONBy @LiamBoogarEditor @RudeBaguetteThis presentation available at
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION 2WHO AM I?‣ Born in the Silicon Valley‣ Moved to France in 2010‣ Rude Baguette – France’s Startup Blog ‣ Launched in November, 2011 ‣ 50K UV/month today ‣ 47% readers in France ‣ Referenced by TechCrunch, Pandodaily, GigaOm, TheNextWeb, TechMeme, etc.
  3. 3. Different kinds of Failure Feedback Lean Land of the Startup living deadSlow Fast Quitting Failure by Omission Isolation
  4. 4. IT TAKES TWO TO FAIL 4Entrepreneurs fail, Yes.…But friends, family, and loved ones pay as well.
  5. 5. IT TAKES TWO TO FAIL 5Friends, family, and loved ones have an obligation to givecritical feedback, if only for self-preservation.If a cofounder relationship is like being married, then familiesof founders need to act as cofounders, too.
  6. 6. IF YOU DON’T CATCH THEM, THEY WILL FALL 6When you see Rock Bottom, you know what it looks like. It’s not pretty. And it’s already too late.
  7. 7. CEO: “CHIEF EXCREMENT OFFICER” 7Help founders do their job - Dealing with S#!T.
  8. 8. VALUABLE FEEDBACK VS. CRITICISM 8Constructive Feedback explains Why: “This is Why I won’t likethis” Criticism says What “I don’t like what you’re doing”Constructive Feedback answers How “This is how it could bebetter” Criticism says Who “I am not who this product is for”Constructive Feedback tells Where “This is where you went
  9. 9. ENTREPRENEURS, YOU HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY 9TOOIf you are not asking for constructive feedback, you are already failing.