Monthly Archives: December 2015

The Five Stages of Accepting Startup Failure

a. Denial

Throw yourself into your job and try not to think about it. Don’t talk about it to anyone. Focus on the new work, new city. Push your feelings down.

b. Guilt

Feel your self-esteem plummet and blame yourself for failing your team and yourself. Question all your life choices. Severely deprecate your intelligence.

c. Depression

Sink further down into a depressive spiral. Stop engaging with the world — no friends, no events. Just hide and escape into fiction when you can.

d. Grief

Still feel sad, but somehow able to feel again. Start talking to people again — your ex-startup partners, old friends. Start to forgive yourself.

e. Recovery

Now self-deprecating humor is just humor, and not a cry for help. You like work again and start working on other things you love. You may not ever start a startup again, but you’ll keep trying things you enjoy and trying to find meaning in life. It took two years, but you are happy again.

First published on LinkedIn