Why learning from failure is part of the startup journey

As a startup, failure is a very real possibility - and, as many highly successful entrepreneurs will tell you, it’s all part of the journey and a great learning experience, no matter how painful at the time. There is a great story of how, at Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg used to encourage frank and open discussion amongst the company’s leaders about their experiences of trying new things, failing, but taking the learnings from each of those failures to make the odds better for success the next time around. By sharing such stories, and understanding that failure is genuinely part of the journey of any startup business, and that something positive can be taken from every failure, the company was able to continually experiment and move forward. As a result, these experiences became part of the foundation of Facebook’s culture and what made it unique. Employees were encouraged to try new things, to take risks and push boundaries in order to create something fresh and new, knowing that although not everything would work first time around, the important thing was to keep trying and testing the waters. There is something every startup can learn from this approach - it’s all too easy to play it safe in the early days, driven by a fear of failure. Yet sometimes, the best and most innovative ideas emerge from taking risks and pushing the envelope, even when the odds of success look stacked against you. Remember that failure is part of the journey - what is worse is never trying something new.