I wasn’t tweeting or posting about it because I was in a meeting. At the same time the internet and our team was celebrating our milestones, I was helping a founder I had been advising for months shut down his company.
He’s an incredibly smart guy. He had a big vision – one of those “better the world and make money doing it.” And while he had built out a powerful platform before I started advising him weekly, he had no customers. So we focused on that. And we couldn’t get any customers, no matter what was tried. His co-founders weren’t lasered in on getting customers, they wanted to focus on the technology. So there was no business.
Failure is empowering. Too many ventures drift off into the darkness and are simply forgotten by the creator. Daily execution becomes skipping a day or two, or three, or fifty. Clearly saying that something didn’t work allows you to learn from it. By the time we sat down face to face yesterday, it was clear he was looking for an out. So we gave it to him. We made it clear he shouldn’t feel guilty or that our time was wasted – it definitely wasn’t.
Every day, I look at the amazing team executing on vastly different parts of the business – one person on the phone training a customer. Another figuring out a new marketing initiative. Another going deep into the code to identify a flaw that is affecting a user. Then the thousands of customers that we have.
Despite all the time spent on the problems of the business – organizational change, churn, maintaining that steep growth curve, I’m so thankful that we have yet to fail. We’ve done the right things – well, enough to get us to this point in time.
Onward and upward.