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  • Don’t Try To Learn From Failure

    You might say it’s fine to think that entrepreneurs learn from failure even though there’s no evidence that it’s true.


    Most people believe that entrepreneurs learn from failure. Pick up USA Today, Entrepreneur, or any of a multitude of popular publications and you will find stories about how entrepreneurs learned from their mistakes to become successful the next time around.

    Using examples of Apple’s failure with the Newton, Frederick Smith’s low grade on the Fed Ex business plan, and Bill Gates’ unsuccessful first computer business, many authors argue that entrepreneurial failure is no obstacle to later success.

    In fact, some observers, like entrepreneur and Harvard Business School lecturer Shikhar Ghosh, even say that business failure helps entrepreneurs become more successful the next time around.

    Policy makers often echo this view. For instance, the Director General of the European Commission’s Enterprise Directorate Horst Reichenbach writes, “Usually, failed entrepreneurs learn from their mistakes and are more successful at the next attempt.”

    There’s only one problem with the “failure helps” perspective. It’s a myth.

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    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals

    Filed Under: Startup/Entrepreneur


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