I began my career in technology journalism in Ottawa in the late 1990s, at the tail-end of the technology bubble. Covering the Ottawa start-up scene, one point I often heard still rings true: in the U.S., a failed started is looked on as a learning experience, but in Canada, a failure is viewed as a failure.
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It’s a striking cultural difference that still rings true today. And as important as access to capital is, or mentoring, or any of the other oft-cited inhibitors to start-up success in Canada, this needed cultural change is as important. We shouldn’t ostracize entrepreneurs with a startup failure under their belts; we should recognize their experience and that they won’t make the same mistakes again. And we should learn from their lessons.
In that spirit, over on the RIC Blog, Leah Jones, a student at the University of Toronto Mississauga and Sheridan College interning at the RIC Centre (Research, Innovation and Commercialization, a member of the Ontario Network of Excellence) has written a blog compiling four lessons that the leaders of failed startups have taken from their experiences.
Their lessons, in summary?
- Don’t let ego get in the way
- Choose your co-founders well
- A business plan is essential
- Culture beats speed
For more on each point, click the link below.