Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Epic Failure?

On April 14, 1912, the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic. This "indestructible" ship was making its first voyage across the Atlantic and ended up on the ocean floor after sinking in less than two hours...leaving more than 1,500 people to drown in the 30-degree water.

Titanic's sister ship, the Brittanic, sank in 1915 after being torpedoed. Just like the Titanic, it sank in less than two hours. Fortunately, only 26 people died because immediately after the Titanic disaster, regulations were changed so that there was a lifeboat seat for every passenger.

The Titanic was a monumental failure - but the lessons learned ended up saving lives in future ocean crossings. On a much smaller scale, the same can be said about the failures that entrepreneurs contend with on a daily basis. The missteps and mistakes that happen early in the startup often provide the experience needed to create a stronger enterprise down the road.

Here are some favorite quotes on the topic of failure from the Prendismo collection:

"Every great success is a combination of learnings that you had from failing." - Bob Alter, Chairman of Sunstone Hotel Investors

"That's just how entrepreneurs think - they don't think of failure as the end, they think of it as a new beginning." - Kurt Zitzner, Founder of Mugzees

"When you fail, where you pick yourself up from is a lot further ahead than the last time." - Tom Szaky, Founder of TerraCycle

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