Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Going from many Failures to Great Success

Do YOU have the balls to try? Failure is an option. These are postings of James Hong of Hotornot and Jeremy Liew of Lightspeed that had inspired me very much and had given me a new perspective to the meaning of failure. We should not be despair and live in isolation for the failures that we had endured and to use those experiences to better prepare ourselves for the bigger challenges ahead.

Jeremy Liew points out that the beauty of silicon valley is not that everyone succeeds whenever they try to build a startup, but rather that we applaud entrepreneurs even when they fail... because every entrepreneur recognizes that the hardest step in becoming a success is always the first one.. the decision to drop everything and go for it, against all odds.

It is no surprise that a lot of success stories are about entrepreneurs who succeeded on their second, third, or fourth tries. I m currently working on my 4th startup. HOTorNOT was James 3rd startup attempt. Paypal was Max Levchin's 3rd. The Facebook was not Mark Zuckerberg's first website. The list goes on and on. Most successful people had gone from many failures before achieving great success. I must say failures are recipes for great success.

Its not about the success and failure, as my dad had always put it, its the journey. Entrepreneurs all have one thing in common, the balls to try and the guts to fail. Its never easy to put a plan together and its even harder to put it to work. There are way too many considerations and way too much risks to contemplate from giving up your job and other opportunities and many unanswered questions. Entrepreneurs in general are what i would regard as super human. Most people dare to dream, but they are the one who is unique and have the will power to make it happen.

It may sound discouraging as more than 90% of startups wont make it and less than 2% would become successful and only a handful will become great companies like Google, Yahoo, Ebay and Amazon. And though these figures are not a figure that would encourage any sane person to attempt at startups but the numbers of startups that are popping up globally is definitely a figure that none can comprehend. Its for this reason that the entrepreneur are to be applauded for their willingness to take a chance on starting a company, not condemned because that particular company wasn’t successful. How many of you out there are as courageous and as gutsy as them?

So anyone criticizing failing companies should realize that those people got further than the people who criticize probably have. They may not had succeed but they certainly had learned alot more in their journey. I certainly had learned a great deal than i would had worked for others. Its definitely a quicker way and I can guarantee you whatever the outcome, you will definitely be rewarded with great skills and experience to elevate you to the next level.

It's true that a lot of ideas people are working on out there may not be what i would agree but I must say i that on the same note, I have the greatest utmost level of respect for them as an individual for having the BALLS to try (the truth is if you don't have at least 9 bad ideas first, you'll never have 1 good one either). The idea is to keep on trying until you reach to the top. Lets not forget, the one thing that matters the most is the journey to the top. Its not going to be an easy ride and like any startups the ride will usually get rough before it gets smooth.

All my rides had been very rough and there were numerous times that i had contemplated giving up and numerous times that i had kicked my ass for even starting one in the first place. Usually its the pride of having to give up that made it hard to surrender. Its always hard to admit defeat but only when you dare to admit defeat that you can rise again. Its the failures that you had experienced that will assist you to make better judgements and more importantly not to make the same mistake again. Not many of us would have the luxury to pay for our own mistakes. Each mistakes that we pay for will definitely make us a smarter person. Its a definitely a sin to pay for the mistakes and repeating it again.

Entrepreneurs are surely a different kind of specie and its never easy to understand why we do and react in certain way. We are just special in our own right. Its this positive will power that we all have that will allow us to go from many failures to many successes.

Companies and startups may shut down but the founders and employees will learn a great deal from the experience and move on to work and start more companies and this time well equipped. I m confident that this new group are more ready than ever to take on new challenges and believe me as I m speaking from experience. With so many failures under my belt, i cant see why I wont make it bigger than before. This is how I see it, only when you had lost thousand, will you be ready to make the millions. And if you have lost millions, I m sure you are setting your sight the your 1st billion.

To all the entrepreneurs out there, you can lose financially and your pride but dont lose your passion and your dream. Keep dreaming and continue to have passion in what you do as my dad had always advised me, I m sure the door to great success will open up in due time.

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