A friend of mine recently wrote…
“It really sucks to fail, no one likes it… But Being afraid of failure is like being afraid of air.
People who are afraid to take a chance won’t ever really breathe easy.”
…then, asked me to comment about a “failure” of mine.
Thanks Emily. 🙂
I’m REALLY passionate about this topic and could go on and on, but since you asked for an example, I’ll go there. So I’ve always had 1-2 side hustles at all times (all entrepreneurs do, right?)…
Anyway, in 2010, I conceived an idea for a Fantasy Wrestling Game. I pitched it to the CEO, CMO and VP of Marketing at WWE’s biggest competitor, and they bought it. Concept being, it engages Wrestling Fans even further, and gives them a reason to watch all shows and PPVs.
It worked, to the tune of 30k active users for a year. Not bad. Our partner LOVED it. The software worked, the fans liked it – but there was only one problem. NOBODY upgraded to the paid version and we made no money. Our software maintenance costs and hosting fees were more than our revenue. BAD. I didn’t really feel like it was a huge failure until I went to the Wrestling Company’s biggest fan event of the year and set up a booth to get more people to upgrade to the paid version.
It was then that I was SMACKED in the face with the reality of my mistake (and true “failure” in this context)… I had done ZERO market research prior to building my product. I took my idea, thought “because I like fantasy football,” and “this wrestling company has a large international audience,” surely the numbers will work and we’ll make a profit. Wrestling fans will surely love fantasy sports, right? NOPE.
So in that respect it was a failure, but to my friend Emily’s exact point in this post, I don’t consider it one in the MACRO view. I learned far more than any business class, marketing class, economics class or even law class could have taught me, and I made amazing lifelong relationships as a result that have helped me enormously in other areas of my career.
I learned about building software, B2C marketing, B2B partnerships, eCommerce conversion optimization, contracts, financial projections and true business development and entrepreneurism.
I strongly recommend that you take some time to fail. It will only benefit you in the long run. 🙂