The Advantages of Failure

February 24, 2011 § 3 Comments

Today I attended the IE Venture Lab event: “The Advantages of Failure” at Auditorio Rafael del Pino where very interesting people like Jose Maria Castillejo (Zinkia International – Pocoyo), Jesus Encinar (Idealista.com & 11870), Alberto Knapp (The Cocktail), Gustavo Garcia (Ex-CEO BuyVIP) and other interesting speakers shared their entrepreneurship experiences and what they have learned from failure.

Every time I am at a great entrepreneurship event like this I get the same messages: “if you want to become rich and you want to avoid suffering, risking all you have, flying economy class and eating cheap food…then you shouldn’t become an entrepreneur!”

I believe all this is true. On the other hand, if you don’t want a Boss telling you what to do or you want to be independent and have control of your destiny, create jobs and most of all, learn the great experience of creating something new by meeting extremely interesting and helpful people, then definitively you should become and entrepreneur!

I guess this is why it is called entrepreneurship “spirit”, because it is all about the spirit! If you just look for making money, then you will be better becoming a banker. You want perfection and solve problems, then better become an engineer. You like to talk to people and motivate them to buy your product, then you should become a marketer or a sales man. But, if you really like to get things done and create from scratch with a 99% uncertainty and knowing that most probably, and not matter what you do, you will fail, then you are an entrepreneur!

Entrepreneurship is about the journey. The more experience the better and failing is just part of the process.  And this is why only people with a strong spirit can be entrepreneurs.

See below some interest quotes I gather from the event:

Jose Maria Castillejo (Board of Directors of Zinkia Entertainment SA, POCOYO)

  • “When you are an entrepreneur you have to be ready for total failure in 60 days”
  • “The most difficult part been an entrepreneur is to be able to pay the checks every month”
  • “Focus on opportunities, not the problems”

Jose Encinares (Founder of idealista.com)

  • “Investors give you money If they see you hungry”
  • “The safe bet is to be an entrepreneur in the long-term but you have to start young”
  • “The unthinkable always happen!”
  • “Entrepreneurs are people that goes hunt with the resources they don’t have”

Alberto Knapp (CEO The Cocktail)

  • “We start a company with technology we didn’t understand, with a business model we did not know how it would work.”
  • “You have to be ready to suffer! Every day you have to deal with failure”
  • “If you fail, you will have the opportunity to start something new.”
  • “If you want to learn and not get rich, start an internet startup.”
  • “In Internet you fail faster but lighter, so it’s not that painful. Buy you need a lot of money for Marketing to get your brand known”
  • “Entrepreneurs have to ask themselves where do you see yourself in 3 years if the company fails”
  • “Select your partners wisely! A divorse is easier that splitting from your company partner”
  • “The challenge of Internet is building a brand! It can take 3-7 years to build a serious brand!”

Book recommendation: Delivering Happiness (Zappos)

Gustavo Garcia Brusilovksy (EX-CEO BuyVIP)

  • “To do something big, you have to go out of Spain”
  • “Be strict with the strategy and flexible with the details and execution. Don’t lose focus, because you don’t have the resources to do so”
  • “You need someone to think other to execute”

Book Recommendation: Boo hoo a dot com story

Yaron Samid (Techaviv.com, register.com, Billguard)

  • “If you are not careful, a VC can become your BOSS!”
  • “The job of the VC is to fire the CEO when time is right. Entrepreneurs are good building stuff but not always maintaining them successful”
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§ 3 Responses to The Advantages of Failure

  • Thank you for the post, I think we have witnessed a really interesting event… far from the normal “loosers talking about success” seeing “winners talking about REAL failure” is really inspiring…

    I have felt that your weighting of the speeches has been improvable though ’cause castillejos was for me the one that impressed me the most by far and you just devoted 3 sentences… ;) if my alzheimer did allow me to I’d add some examples and I encourage other reader to do so…

    Thank you Guerson, if you read boo hoo please give me feedback… and you are very welcome to join IEntrepreneurs @ linkedin if you wish so…

    Luis Mateos Keim
    @keimstorm
    @ieentrepreneur

    Good post

  • arnab says:

    awesome post! loved it… keep up the good thoughts flowing!

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