We’re not big believers in truisms that suggest failure is something positive. There’s nothing positive about failure, no matter what Thomas Edison said. However, if failure happens, it’s best to record everything you’ve learned from the experience that may help you in the future; right before you start trying to forget everything you can about it that keeps you from wanting to get out of the bed in the morning.
Better yet, learn from other’s failures.
To get you prepared for your startup adventure, the venture capital database and research service company, CB Insights, has compiled a list of links to 51 articles, interviews and blog posts in which the founders of failed startups provide a post-mortem regarding what they learned from the failure.
From reading them, you’ll discover the one universally positive thing failure seems to do is return to its founders a measure of humility that must have existed before they were able to raise a few million dollars and before seeing their startup covered by TechCrunch. Before the hubris set in. Before they succombed to the fatal mistake of believing that raising money from investors is the goal of a startup.
It is at such a point in their road to emotional recovery (that point where the founders haven’t yet figured out how to blame someone or something other than themselves) where a failed founder seems genuinely enlightened and has the most to share.
Therefore, we’re greatful that the folks at CB Insights were able to find links to so many startup founders willing to share their personal agonies of defeat. On CBInsights.com, they’ve included what they believe are the “money quotes” (or, in this case, “money-losing quotes”) from each founder.
Here are some links to a few of the post-mortems:
- 7 Things I learned from Startup Failure (Intellibank)
- Startup Lessons Learned from My First Startup (Teamometer)
- A Postmortem Analysis of Standout Jobs (Standout Jobs)
- Cusoy: A postmortem (Cusoy)
- Formspring – A Postmortem (Formspring)
- Lessons from my failed startup (Parceld)
- Lessons from my failed startup (Saaspire)
- Looking back at 7 years with my startup GroupSpaces (GroupSpaces)
- My Startup Failed. [email protected]<#. (Zillionears.com)
- Out of the Picture: Why the world’s best photo startup is going out of business (Editorial) (Everpix)
- Part Two of the HelloParking postmortem: a look back, and a new perspective (HelloParking)
- Play By Your Own Rules (Gowalla)
- Untitled Partners Post-Mortem (Untitled Partners)
- Key Lessons from Cryptine Networks’ Failure (Cryptine Networks)
- Imercive Post-Mortem (Imercive)
- Meetro Post Mortem (Meetro, aka Lefora)
- Post Mortem on a Failed Product (eCrowds)
- Co-Founder Potts Shares Lessons Learned from Backfence Bust (Backfence)
- Couldery Shouldery (Lookery)
- Tis the Season for a Tigerbow Post Mortem (Tigerbow)
- Travelllll Post-Mortem (Travelllll.com)
- Why Startups Fail: A Postmortem For Flud, The Social Newsreader (Flud)
- Why Wesabe Lost to Mint (Wesabe)
- ArsDigita – From Start-up to Bust-up (ArsDigita)
- EventVue Post-Mortem (EventVue)
- YouCastr – A Post-Mortem (YouCastr)
- Lessons from our Failed Startup (SMSnoodle)
(Featured photo: Florian Martys via Flickr)