Enough with the failure porn

by Dylan on November 25, 2012

There have been over 300 new startups launched in Dublin over the last year.  It’s a great stat and one which genuinely underpins our ‘startup country’ marketing. I think there’s a growing realisation that our entire growth strategy is essentially predicated on starting new companies. Unfortunately I don’t think people have also grasped that failure is an essential part of this same strategy.

Most startups fail for any number of this reasons. THIS IS NORMAL. Ireland has built a genuinely good ecosystem for starting companies (and the numbers seem to be proving this out). But we’ve got to stop obsessing with people’s failures for the sake of them. Yes, a lot of property developers lost a lot of money. Yes, by all means analyse how it happened. But stop turning it into some kind of fetish.

It’s a slippery slope to suggest content policy for the media so I’ll suggest it for everyone else instead: Stop perving on the failure porn.

Being serious about startups as a country means being accepting of failure. It’s time to move on with our attitude.

“I admit I fucked up/but everybody fucks up” -Lil’ Wayne, Something you forgot

  • http://twitter.com/cmcgovern Colin McGovern

    I was at the websummit recently and the one thing I really noticed was the extent to which the Irish startups at the event were trying to address genuine problems, rather than the feeling I got from some of the others that seemed to be started purely because the founder(s) wanted to be in a startup.

    I don’t have anything to benchmark against in other countries but I do see in the accelerator course I’m on in Dublin that the speakers and mentors have absolutely no problem being honest about the flaws in any ideas any of us have. As long as we’re learning from the failures, the startup culture here remains healthy.

    • dylancollins

      Definitely agree in terms of startups but my point was more about wider society, which tends to support startups but then be very critical of failure.

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