The Challenge

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How might we support web entrepreneurs in launching and growing sustainable global businesses? read the brief

Impact

My Fail Tale Prototype

Evolving ideas on celebrating failure as a learning opportunity.
Celebrating Failure
I believe that a way to support web entrepreneurs is to help them realise that they will fail at some point during their start-up career. Encouraging people to embrace failure means they will be ready and hopefully learn from their mistakes to become successful. Myfailtale.com is a platform to start a movement around embracing and celebrating failure which grew out of my TED Positive: Sharing Failure concept on the Web Start-up Challenge.
 
The idea is to collate, feature and share stories so that others can learn from each other. It is hoped that this will give emerging entrepreneurs the confidence to launch their own start-up and let people realise that they will fail at some point and that these are opportunities to learn.
 
Entrepreneurs are risk takers yet they still don't want to fail. It's inevitable and one person's failure is often another person's success. If this platform facilitates 'mentors', story telling and a place to learn, I feel people will be happier to admit they have failed along the way and more entrepreneurs will become successful.
 
Challenges in Prototyping
The biggest challenge was going from receiving 'virtual help' on the OpenIDEO platform to having to realise on my own. I met up with a couple of other OpenIDEO members in a cafe here in London to help me brainstorm and then had the luxury of discussing my concept in Brussels at the EU Digital Agenda Assembly with the other challenge winners. From there, it's been daunting to be forge ahead, alone in the big wide world!
 
Talking about a concept and having ideas to develop it are great – but then what? There's no team there to bounce ideas off, to plan time with or receive help/support from. I had no budget to start prototyping so I decided to dedicate time in my freelance days to do it myself. I took a deep breath, discovered the joys of Wordpress, sent many emails to friends for advice, did a large amount of googling, hung out at the TechHub cafe and just got on with it.
 
Get Involved
People can help in a number of ways:
1) spread the word about the website
2) recommend founders to share their stories
3) help me improve and develop the site through wordpress/CSS coding and ideas
4) share stories of failure, explain learnings, pivots and iterations towards success
 
Going Forward
I want myfailtale.com to be the online community where everyone goes to learn from other peoples mistakes. I envision a fun, inspiring site to which everyone feels that they can contribute and turn to when needed. My dream is for European entrepreneurs to be happy to admit when they have failed, to realise the value of learning from our mistakes and for more entrepreneurs to take the plunge into the world of start-ups.

Comments

Join the conversation and post a comment.

Briana Miller

March 14, 2013, 15:05PM
I read in the 5 hour work week which the author read else where but did not state where that experts are really just a series of failures like scientists we prove hypothesis through experimentation and if we do not experiment we can not prove the hypothesis so the experts are usually the ones who fail the most first.

Tim Conway

March 11, 2013, 01:44AM
Greetings Louise,
As a fan of TED and FailCon, your actions on http://MyFailTale.com are impressive. Tip: sustain the core purpose since it's meaningful to others (especially rising wannabes).

How do I know? My initial B2B service was an under-achiever. The main reason was hubris about market potential. Instead of allocating time on up front on thorough customer development, I rushed to marketing phase. Then spent several years drifting trying to locate paying clients.

Take-away: find 3-4 objective advisors to provide occasional blunt feedback; plus inform you when it's time to walk away from a losing venture.

Continued success in your endeavors,
Tim

Andrew Liu

March 06, 2013, 07:27AM
As a repeat internet startup founder, hear hear. Fail often. Fail quick.

Amy Bonsall

October 16, 2012, 15:12PM
Louise is being modest here - she spoke about MyFailTale and learning from failure very eloquently at a Greek conference in September and was a guest of FailCon in Paris. Well done, Louise, and keep us posted.

Ashley Jablow

September 25, 2012, 16:26PM
I have to echo Meena's kudos and congratulate you on taking this important step toward realizing your idea!

Meena Kadri

September 24, 2012, 07:49AM
Way to go Louise! It's great to hear about the challenges in prototyping alongside the strides you've made towards impact.
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