Michel Pireu Columnist

From Paul Smith at Medium: All start-ups should give themselves permission to fail, but shouldn’t be oblivious to the consequences if they do. Yet the mantras that start-ups should "celebrate failure" and "shouldn’t be afraid to fail" have been taken literally by many. Failure has somehow become a fashionably acceptable outcome; start-ups can go bust because of dreadful execution or woeful market knowledge, and founders are immediately surrounded by a circle jerk of backslapping. There is no kudos in getting things so horribly wrong that you took yourself out. Failing should hurt. You should wince, you should cry yourself to sleep after another relentless 20 hour day that went from bad to worse. Failing will leave bruises, it may scar you like a blade. Your friends and family should be there to support you, but you shouldn’t be mollycoddled, nor should you be told to expect otherwise. Once you’ve dressed your wounds, you should do everything to learn and recognise why you’re a failu...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now