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Inside Silicon Valley's Annual Failure Conference

At FailCon, entrepreneurs study other's failures and how to prepare for their success.

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By Jennifer Wang

Failcon

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Everyone loves a good failure story, especially in Silicon Valley. 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. Because in business, those who didn't get it quite right the first (or seventh) time can still land on top: Witness PayPal, Apple and Twitter.

Nice, right? Except for one thing: These quick rags-to-riches tales gloss over the brutal fact that life as an entrepreneur is an emotional roller coaster, one that many people find too hard to take. Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape and top venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, has described it thusly: "You flip rapidly from day to day: one where you are euphorically convinced you are going to own the world, to [one] in which doom seems only weeks away and you feel completely ruined, and back again. Over and over and over."

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