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"Nine out of ten web-startups fail...but little is spoken about this in the scene in Germany. Much too little, as Entrepreneurs Club Berlin believes. This is why they brought the international conference with the sonorous name Failcon to the capital. A well-managed event in which all participants were rewarded with plenty of useful teaching."
"Here in Germany, admitting failure is somewhat of a cultural taboo. A culture of perfection provides for a strong industrial core and prepares a skillful workforce, but it can also stagnate innovation and investment in young entrepreneurs. German investors should learn how to believe in young entrepreneurs and allow for second chances in case of failure, which should be a public mandate and a subject of discussion for banks and seed investors."
"I thought the event was a great success. My feeling is that every conference would do well to run at least one session focussing only on failure and fails. For one, it is entertaining and instructive, and at the same time it encourages trial and error which is absolutely necessary to get better and to learn."
"It was certainly interesting listening to other people’s regrets, but the point was to gain practical advice and in this respect Berlin FailCon did not fall short."
"Yes, schadenfreude is a powerful thing, but this is not about that. This is about failure when it's the setup for a happy ending--those second chances that become the stuff of business legend."
"For every high-tech business success, there are countless failures in this California cradle of Internet startups. Here failure is accepted, or even welcomed, as a guide for future success. In fact, failure is dissected in San Francisco at FailCon, an annual one-day conference where tech entrepreneurs and investors spill their guts and share lessons learned."
"Though much of FailCon’s focus is on impersonal issues like hiring and growth, 'by signing up for a conference that says you have [failed], or you are going to fail, you walk in with a slightly more exposed mindset,' Phillipps says. 'It’s beginning to change the tone of the conversation between founders.'"
"At FailCon, the annual conference in San Francisco, not only is it okay to f*** up, it’s a badge of honor. The bigger the failure, the better. The conference was filled to the rafters with bright-eyed young entrepreneurs. However, a few representatives from household-name companies were also attending."
"In Silicon Valley, failure has been democratized. You don’t need a lot of money to fail. Nor do you need any previous experience. Take, for example, Brian Wong and Roger Dickey –"
"In Silicon Valley, admitting you screwed up isn't just part of the culture. It's a conference. FailCon organizer Cassandra Phillips finds successful people and, like an AA meeting, gets them to talk about how they've failed."
"In Silicon Valley failure is often seen as success as entrepreneurs learn from their mistakes and pivot their startups to try again and get it right."
"The most entertaining presentation at the recent FailCon conference in San Francisco came from Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, who spelled out the many hurdles he faced at his last company, the peer-to-peer content delivery provider Red Swoosh."
"Valley icon and VC Vinod Khosla followed, saying that this is the one conference he asks to speak at. 'I love to talk about failure,' he said, and began to break down how he embraces thinking about failure, and what it teaches."
"The conference aims to share hard-earned wisdom from business failures. They happen all the time, for all sorts of reasons, but in most quarters, people weep silently into their pillows."
"The old saying goes, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Fortunately, FailCon got it right on its first try. The one-day Silicon Valley conference is now in its third year and expanding globally."
"Dreaming of success? Then study failure – because “oops” is the mantra of champions. That was the take-away from FailCon 2010, which brought almost 500 entrepreneurs to San Francisco’s Hotel Kabuki to share and compare lessons from the school of hard knocks."
"On stage at FailCon today, Jay Adelson went over his storied career from Equinix to Digg. Adelson kept emphasizing the fact that he had no regrets despite Digg having failed to pin down acquisition offers from both Current and Google, while the news broke during the panel that Digg had just laid off 37% of its staff."
"Over the course of the day, I began to realize that there are so many ways to screw things up, it’s actually pretty amazing that anyone manages to pull it off. It makes you appreciate the miracle that is Silicon Valley."
"I expected the FailCon conference today at San Francisco’s Hotel Kabuki to be a sort of regret-fest; ex-CEOs of failed startups waxing on the do’s and don’ts for the Silicon Valley youth. I wasn’t entirely off in that expectation, though former Digg CEO Jay Adelson surprised me; he wasn’t one to lament over his missteps at his previous home."
"The reason failure is so valuable is it gives you courage,” Dyson said. “It’s more terrifying if you haven’t done it before. People who have been fired once aren’t really afraid of being fired again."
"If you’re just starting a company, FailCon is a great place to pick up cautionary tales, and learn from those who have already been there. If you’re looking for a snart, battle-tested company to invest in, this is the conference that doesn’t just spread sunshine – it tells you how it really is."
"In fact, that’s the reason Phillipps wants to take failure on the road next year, with FailCons in Paris, Buenos Aires, New York and San Francisco. Which would be epic."
"Entrepreneurs gathered in Silicon Valley this week to celebrate — not the thrill of success — but the agony of defeat. At FailCon, PayPal co-founder Max Levchin talked about how he failed repeatedly before making money with the online payment company."
"According to futurist and Stanford engineering professor Paul Saffo, in the tech-obsessed valley, “the spires of success are built on the rubble of failure.”"
"I must admit, after covering hundreds of conferences where companies try their hardest to convince you that everything is perfect, and their path to success is guaranteed to be smooth, FailCon is a breath of fresh air. "
"A whole conference devoted to failure, FailCon, may be a first, but it’s looking like a success, with the likes of PayPal co-founder Max Levchin talking about how he failed repeatedly before making billions making the payment platform for the web."
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