People say you often learn more from failure than you do from success, but nobody wants to intentionally fail just in order to learn more. Luckily, the increased transparency of sharing on the web has led to various startup founders who are willing to talk about failures out in the open for the benefit of others.
It seems like there are plenty of stories about dot-com failures from the late 90s. People seem okay talking about a failure that happened years ago. For example, I could tell the story of how the startup I was first involved in after college flamed out quickly in 1999 by committing most of the errors that period is now known for. While I learned a great deal from that experience, those lessons are not quite as relevant as learning from lessons that are happening in today’s market.
We had one founder on the FounderList share his recent failed startup story and the lessons he learned from it. It was great stuff, and it also spurred me to be on the lookout for other such stories that founders may have posted on blogs. One recently shared story comes from the YCombinator graduate NewsTilt. It’s a long piece, but there’s some good lessons and good self-reflection occurring there.
Another interesting story comes from BackBlaze and the two failed acquisitions they lived through. It’s interesting because BackBlaze is still a strong and active business, but they were willing to share what they learned about the acquisition process and how it can get screwed up.
We always hear about the great successful companies out there, but perhaps more can be learned from those situations where things didn’t go so smoothly. If you know of other good startup failure stories that are published online, please leave a comment below.