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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Failure - Silicon Valley's Favorite F-Word

The best part of my moving to Silicon Valley is that I can hear Guy Kawasaki talk this evening at Stanford. His topic is Silicon Valley’s Favorite F-Word — Failure

Guy's provocative honesty has been my inspiration in this blog. I hope to record and bring you some piece of the event.

You know my F-word story

I meet so many people daily in my exploration to find my place in the valley and recall several options I had to close Coola gracefully. As I had a good advisory and investors everyone presented options when we were close to closing. It was trying to evaluate them to understand the core of what was my company - my team and I decided I'll take any option that would keep jobs for my team and keep Coola technology alive for my customers.

Most options were trying to buy me personally for my success in getting GE Medical account for such a small company, there was even an option from an Asian firm that wanted to buy us for the loss we showed in our books, but the rate at which these options came and from people 3 degrees of separation away who wanted to help us to do favors to one of our advisors or investors was mind-blowing.

So thinking of failure, I think its important to understand how one can lose a piece of their soul in losing integrity by choosing what I call as "declaring victory" options to close, which you select knowing you are actually failing but think the world won't be able to see it.

I took a longer path as we auctioned out our office desks and everything and moved out to share offices with another fellow startup to buy time to decide if closing was the only viable option. When you fall from a height, it softens your landing if you take multiple steps.

In the end, what matters to me is that I can talk about this fondly and know the taste of success upto a point and am back tasting the joy of building a great startup with a great team.

10 comments:

Mary-Louise Boyd said...

I work for Guy Kawasaki, and I would like to thank you for your comments about Guy's talk at Stanford!

Mary-Louise
Online Assistant

http://blog.guykawasaki.com/

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