Why Post-Mortems and Funeral Ceremonies For Failed Startups Are Important

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
― Winston S. Churchill

Starting any kind of business requires a lot of hard work, attention and determination. It’s unfortunate that, not all business startups survive. In fact, according to statistics nine out of ten tech startups launched will fail within a span of less than three years. That can be quite disheartening!

I once read an article by Chris Poole of 4Chan (Creator of both Canvas and DrawQuest) – “Today my startup failed“-and one of the most touching paragraphs was this one:

I’m disappointed that I couldn’t produce a better outcome for those who supported me the most—my investors and employees. Few in business will know the pain of what it means to fail as a venture-backed CEO. Not only do you fail your employees, your customers, and yourself, but you also fail your investors—partners who helped you bring your idea to life.

Check out Techcrunch, for more details on this story.



Yes, failure sucks and nobody likes it!

But there’s good news too! Business failure is not the end of the world! There’s hope and founders can always bounce back.

Today i came across an interesting article on The Guardian, about a popular growing trend, where founders of failed business ventures  come together to celebrate and commemorate failure. You may ask- What really happens in such a gathering?

The mourners are in confession mode. When they’ve laid out their story before the audience, they raise a glass to failure – and once and for all put their failed startup to bed, to the cheers and support of the crowd.

A lot of entrepreneurs i know, have confessed that being a business founder can be a lonely affair. Same thing applies when a business venture fails and it has to be wound up. Many founders often feel isolated and alienated and that can be quite a daunting experience.

So why  attend such a gathering?

First of all, that depends on your situation.But here is a simple answer from the article-

Attending a social gathering that celebrates or mourns the death of business ideas or ventures offers an ideal opportunity to make such a transition smoother.

Read on the full article here –“Funerals for failed startups that allow entrepreneurs to rise from the ashes”

CB Insights too,  published a compilation of startup failure post-mortems by founders and investors and there’s a lot to learn from them. Read on-  166 Startup Failure Post-Mortems

4 Reasons Why A Business Plan Is Important

A business plan is a very important strategic tool for entrepreneurs. A good business plan not only helps entrepreneurs to focus on the specific steps necessary for their to make business ideas succeed, but it also helps them to achieve both their short-term and long-term objectives.

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail! ― Benjamin Franklin

Venture capitalist and Silicon Valley pioneer Eugene Kleiner once stated that ‘writing a business plan forces you into disciplined thinking.’ An idea may sound great, but when you put down all the details and numbers, it may fall apart.

So why is the business plan so important?

Read on the : 4 Reasons Why A Business Plan Is Important.

I had originally  posted this article on iAfrikan.com


Forbes Just Revised Estimated Net Worth Of Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes And She Is Worth ‘Zero’

Last year, 2015, Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, was named in FORBES list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women with a net worth of $4.5 billion. Today, Forbes decided to lower their estimates and cut that figure to a whole zero!

If you’ve been following the news, you might recall that Theranos, the blood-testing startup that has been valued at $9 billion, has constantly been under fire. There were numerous reports about issues relating to the company’s valuation, fraud, compliance , misleading patients and putting people’s lives in jeopardy, etc.

From the reports, we learnt about the company’s technology devices which often failed accuracy requirements. There were also  federal prosecutors investigations about whether company purposely misled investors about the state of its technology and operations. The situation was heating up until the federal health regulators proposed banning Theranos Inc. In a recent report, we also learnt  that there was serious fraud going on too,by use of fake technology!

Here is why Forbes decided to lower its estimate of Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes’ net worth from $4.5 billion to zero