failed startup

Advice from the Founder of a failed startup

Recently I read a very honest, heartfelt post from a startup founder where their business had unfortunately failed.

It’s important to share stories like these, because despite what the survivorship bias that’s rife in our industry might indicate, the vast majority of startups fail.  When they do, it’s important to learn what you can from the venture and move on as a more experienced founder.

This post has been shared with permission from the founder, who chose to remain anonymous.

1.  Your board is not the enemy. They are your truth-tellers. If your board doesn’t have your back or doesn’t tell you the hard truths you should be hearing, get a better board.

2.  You are not a super hero. You do not owe anyone your mental or physical health or stability of your personal life because they wrote a check to you.

3.  You can feel horrible – and you probably will – but don’t let those feelings motivate you to do things that result in you digging a deeper hole with deeper debt.

4.  Look out for your employees. Write them letters of recommendation. Reach out to your network and try to help them land somewhere else.

5.  Forgive yourself. You’re human, and you make mistakes. It’s devastating, and you will grieve this loss in many ways the same as the loss of a loved one. Be gentle and kind towards yourself. Own your mistakes, but, seriously, also own your successes.

Food for thought.