Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Startup Funeral

Kevin Galligan is one of the organizers of an event called Startup Funeral that takes place in Manhattan.  A group of young professionals get together to hear the stories of startup failures.  The point is for entrepreneurs to share the lessons from an in-depth postmortem analysis of a startup failure.  At the same time, the event is supposed to be fun.... a party, according to Galligan.  Another organizer, Valerie Lisyansky, tells Fortune magazine: “It’s equally as important to be successful as it is to understand your failure, understand what happened, and educate community.”   Publicly sharing postmortems has become more commonplace in the startup community.   People want others to hear the lessons that they have learned the hard way.  

Is this type of event taking the entire "celebrate failure" movement a bit too far?   I don't think so, though I would note that the article refers to the fact that many entrepreneurs back out after initially committing to present at such events.  I think the key to a successful sharing of lessons learned from a startup postmortem is a safe environment.   I'm not sure an open invitation public party is the most safe environment.   You want to have a place where people are comfortable putting themselves out there and taking an interpersonal risk. I also think it's important to hear the perspective of multiple people involved in a startup, not simply the founder(s).   Multiple perspectives can shed light on causes of the failure that are not apparent to the founder(s), or that the founder(s) aren't ready to acknowledge. 

No comments: