That it was OK to fail.
The biggest difference between the various start-ups I’ve co-founded and worked at is when it was OK to fail:
- I do not believe it is OK to fail unless there was truly no other option.
- I do not believe you can quit until there isn’t an ounce of gas left in the tank.
- I do not believe it is OK to quit just because you think you could do something “better” with your time.
- I do not believe it is OK to quit for any reason once you’ve taken outside investor capital.
- I do not believe you ever can quit if you have a paying customer that took a bet on you.
- I do not believe you can quit if you have a sellable product.
- I do not believe you can quit if the team is counting on you.
- I do not believe you can give it anything less than 100%, that you can work on two things, that you can hedge your bets, that you can leave anything in reserve.
But, many very smart, logical folks realize this is not logical. Quitting often is logical.
I have been only so successful as a founder. I consider myself a “magna minus” founder. I am no Elon Musk.
But one thing I know. If it was OK to fail, I would have failed every time.