Silicon Valley Lies And Those Who Tell Them

Silicon Valley Lies And Those Who Tell Them

We are now in a new year. Like most people, you’ll likely start 2016 setting a bunch of resolutions. If you are an entrepreneur, or want to become one, do yourself a favor and make the one resolution that can make 2016 your best year: Stop believing the Silicon Valley lies and those who tell them. I’ve been in the tech sector for more than two decades. I’ve worked at scrappy startups and global tech companies. I’ve read many books on entrepreneurship, from Steve Blank to Peter Thiel. They all have great lessons (see some of them here ), but if you read the columns of online Silicon Valley publications or take the soundbites you hear at tech meetups as guidance, beware. There is a lot of sensationalism and oversimplification out there. Many sound great, but most are wrong. Here are my three favorite misconceptions: Failure is great. Steve Jobs is god. The best startups are started by 20-somethings. The glorification of failure “Failure is good. Fail often and fail fast.” I’m sure you’ve come across this Silicon Valley adage many times. Entrepreneurs are used to encountering failure, mainly because we’re all trying to do things that haven’t been done before, faster than it is realistic to achieve them. That’s why some of our successes can be monumental. But that’s also why the majority of us fail many times — and get back up as many times as is required to succeed. But glorifying failure is a mistake. Failure is not good. And it’s worse when it is you that’s failing (sorry Eric Ries). I’ve studied and worked with some of the best entrepreneurs in the tech industry and I can tell you that failure is not something they look forward to or celebrate. One of my early investors […]