Monthly Archives: December 2014

Failure Isn’t a Bad Word

Whenever I mention Markitty’s failure, I’m invariably told some version of, “Oh you didn’t fail. It’s better to have tried it than to not have tried it at all. You must have learned so much.”

And I’m always a bit touched that the person — a colleague, or a friend, or an online acquaintance (or some combination of these) — cares enough to reassure me, to want to make me feel better. And I know Nilesh has had much the same experience.

But the thing is, we did fail. We failed at building a startup — we didn’t even get over the initial bump. Markitty failed.

But I am not sorry we tried. I don’t regret it — I regret making the mistakes we made, but we learned from it. I’m happy about where I’ve landed up and what I’m doing now.

Failure isn’t a bad word. In this case, it’s just the truth.

And you know what? In some ways, I’m proud. I’m proud to have ‘startup entrepreneur’ in my resume, to have been part of the startup ecosystem, to have met, worked with, learned from so many other entrepreneurs and mentors. I’d never have done any of that if I was in a job. I

Markitty taught me I had skills I hadn’t realized. In that year plus a few months, I have gone on sales meetings and to networking events, handled product management, and done other things I hadn’t really done a lot of in the past.

Of course, I also discovered there were skills I didn’t have, and it was a hard lesson to learn, in my early thirties… to discover my limitations, and how, in some ways, my strengths are also my weaknesses. (For instance, my low confidence means I sometimes recheck something I’ve worked on obsessively — not a good thing in a startup, where you have to work fast, fail fast, and think on your feet. I have been learning to do things faster, and to let it go when it’s done.)

And as I say here:

So even though we got so many things wrong, I am glad we tried. I am sad that we failed, but so proud that we survived the experience and landed on our feet. We made connections, even friends. We got involved in the community and met so many wonderful people—people who are passionate about their work, which I love to see.