Why Hoping You Fail Is How I Wish You the Best

Failing is the soul crushing stage you must pass through to ever appreciate success.

learn more about Mark Peter Davis

By Mark Peter Davis • Aug 1, 2016

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Failing is a pain. Emotionally, it seems like there's nothing good about it. I know -- I've failed a ton.

When you fail, you suffer from a stew of embarrassment, stress and frustration. And those emotions can run deep. Real deep. They can color every social experience and adversely affect your confidence.

Related: Failure Is Not the End. It's an Opportunity to Learn

The good news is that beneath the hormonal response there are real benefits that make you a better founder. I prefer to partner with and invest in founders that have failed – and failed hard. The harder the better. I like founders who have recovered and are back in the game.

There are three reasons I like recovering founders:

1. Lesson Learned.

First, they should have learned something. There are dozens of trip wires that can make a founder stumble. A recovering founder knows where at least a few of the booby traps lie and can dodge them. That reduces the odds of failure.

Related: What You Can Learn From This Podcaster's Epic Public Failure

2. Stronger decision making skills.

Second, founder euphoria has long since passed. When founders first make the leap from a real job to a startup there is a feeling of invincibility, endless opportunity, weightlessness. This founder euphoria exacerbates optimism and clouds judgment and makes for inefficient decision-making. And, bad decision making kills companies.

Related: 8 Ways Intelligent People Use Failure to Their Advantage

3. Healthy skepticism.

Third, recovering founders are not only beyond euphoria, they're skeptical. They don't trust their gut blindly the way they used to. Fear breeds a dependency on experimentation -- a critical part of healthy decision-making. Furthermore, skeptics don't tend to be stubborn. It's hard to dig your heels in when there's no such thing as a sure thing.

While failing can be soul crushing, just remember that it's the best training you can get.

Mark Peter Davis

Venture Capitalist + Incubator

Mark Peter Davis is a venture capitalist, serial entrepreneur, author and community organizer. He is the founder of Interplay Ventures, an investment and incubation firm based in New York City. Davis is also the author of The Fundraising Rules, a handbook designed to help entrepreneurs raise capital, and the founder of both the Columbia Venture Community and the New York Venture Community. You can follow his blog at mpd.me.

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