Way back in 2011, I got involved with a startup that almost made it.
Hoping to launch a website that would “revolutionize how jobseekers and employers connect,” the company’s co-founders and I drove through the night to a competition in Kansas City—and we won.
But that was more or less the highlight of the story. The venture capital firm never delivered the $250,000 prize—perversely moving their deadline back again and again—and we made some short-sighted decisions based on the money we’d never receive. Lots of tech issues, a big pivot and a few frustrating months later, the founders split.
One of them, Sonia Lin, wrote a book based on the experience—Secret to Startup Failure: Fail Fast. Fail Cheap. Fail Happy. It’s a collection of cartoons from her Entrepreno’s website, and I found myself laughing all the way through.
If you’ve ever worked with a startup, you probably will, too.
Business school doesn’t prepare you for 100-hour weeks, sleep deprivation or the challenges of working with people who don’t share your dedication. But it does give you a funny way of illustrating how they feel!
And then there’s the hyper-focused, messianic co-founder. I had a great time working with him, but I never experienced him 24/7 like Sonia did.
THE FINAL EQUATION.
And while the book is supposedly all about failure, I like Sonia’s take on success. Sometimes it does take a miracle.
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