Mistakes Happen, What Do You Do About It?

Mistakes are inevitable in startups. Good entrepreneurs acknowledge and learn from them, while struggling ones blame others.

A.T. Gimbel
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June 11, 2024

I spoke with multiple entrepreneurs this past week who talked about a mistake they made recently. This was a great reminder that in the startup journey (and life) mistakes will happen. The good entrepreneurs acknowledge the mistake, learn from it and move forward. The entrepreneurs who struggle blame someone else for the mistake and prevent their organization from moving forward.

Many types of mistakes

There are an endless set of mistakes that can occur - and it’s okay. From bad hires, poor messaging, a go-to-market strategy missing its mark, things will happen. Perfection is not the goal. 

What do you learn?

One of your super powers as a startup is your speed to adapt. I have seen scenarios where the startup got something wrong multiple times, but still had time to get it adjusted and into the market before a larger competitor. You can quickly design experiments to test hypotheses to learn the key insights you need to move forward.

How do you move forward

Be careful with over analysis. Once you see the path forward, align the team, communicate the direction, and put a plan in place to execute that direction. Bring positivity to the team, but also make the necessary people and/or process changes to ensure the mistake does not happen again.

Startups are about many failures to ultimately find the right path to build something big. Don’t be afraid of the mistakes; make them, learn from them, and adjust to a better path forward.

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