We talk about failure in the startup world. After all, it’s how we often learn our best lessons. But so often at events and conferences, speakers and attendees shy away from shining a light on their hardest lessons learned. We end up brushing over the darkest parts of the story to highlight the bright spots. We end up talking about talking about failure.
We acknowledge that confronting failure is valuable, but we’re often scared of really being honest with ourselves in conferences–but, if you’re brave enough, FailCon just might be one of the most knowledge-rich days you’ll have until next year.
Startup Conference for Losers
This year’s FailConSF is being held on Monday, October 21st, and features a great lineup. From “Survive Your Fundraising Trainwrecks” by Anamaria Nino-Murcia and Julia Hu to “How We Got Our Biggest Brand Decision Wrong” by Mike McDerment, this is a conference bound to be filled with valuable lessons for budding entrepreneurs. For those attending, here are a few lessons we hope you can take away.
Your Founding Team Will Always Be Important
Jackson Solway and Miki Johnson aren’t your average co-founders. These two started dating, co-founded a startup, got engaged, and then shut down their company. They learned more than their fair share of lessons about what makes a team work and what doesn’t–they added and dropped four co-founders–and they’ll be sharing that at 9:45 at FailCon.
Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems
Gleb Budman bootstrapped his startup, BlackBlaze, to profitability without spending a dime on marketing. Clearly, when he had a budget to market his company, he was going to explode. He would be catapulted to the stratosphere with profits, right?
Wrong. Sometimes the changes $1 Million brings to a marketing budget aren’t good ones. Gleb will teach you lessons you can apply to your startup with or without a marketing budget.
You Can Take Your Ball and Go Home
A common axiom in the startup community is that you can’t quit your startup. It’s your baby, it’s your project, it’s your livelihood. Jason Shen disagrees. Even after support from Y-Combinator, Ridejoy Jason and his two co-founders decided to wind down their operations and return over $700,000 that they raised in their seed round. To close out FailCon, Jason will be sharing how things came to an end at Ridejoy and what other founders can learn from it.
If you can’t make it to San Francisco for FailCon, you can follow FailCon on Twitter, read their blog for follow up, or follow the contributors we mentioned in this post.
At the end of the day, failure is a crucial learning point for founders everywhere, but the faster they can learn from it, the faster they can grow. FailCon’s aim to help startups learn from other’s failure is a noble one and something definitely worth checking out, either at the conference or online from where ever you are in startup land.