Michael J Smith

Failing Doesn't Mean You're Stupid

A while back, I was told the story of how a coworker lost quite a bit of money on a start-up venture, the contention being that this coworker was not fit to lead and wasn’t smart enough to run a business.

That got me thinking; if he lost money on a start-up venture, does that really mean he isn’t smart or fit to lead?

I don’t think so. I read that only one out of every 12 start-ups succeeds. With those odds, anyone with the guts to start a business – let alone a tech business – should be admired, not ridiculed.

To succeed you need a good product and a good market for that product. Those that fail usually have problems scaling, according to the Startup Genome project. They say start-ups must properly scale the following dimensions: customers, product, team, business model, and funding.

With that in mind, there are countless mistakes my coworker could have made which led to his start-up failing – and one of those mistakes could have very well been stupid. But, I don’t think that makes him stupid, or a poor leader. At least he took a shot. I think that makes him admirable.

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