In a recent blog post by Professor G (aka Scott Galloway) titled “Quitting Time”, he shared a chart outlining the probability that a startup will succeed based on the number of startup attempts a founder had made. It is a surprising chart that goes to a founders’ perseverance, but I also think goes to a founder’s mindset. 

The chart Scott shares shows a 65% probability of success when the founder is on her/his 10th attempt. Are these people crazy?

But, what does perseverance, mindset and potential mental instability mean for a startup community and their founders, you ask? Maybe everything.

Our media has a bad habit of only telling the tail end of the story, not the long tail that preceded it. The result, founders and community leaders alike sign up for the myth of quick strike wins.

I have shared in so many posts the reality that the founder journey is long, difficult and filled with many twists and turns.

So, my question to all of you who support founders in your city – are you prepared to support the 5-9 failures that a founder had before she/he finds gold on the 10th idea?

As I see it, that is the true definition of a supportive startup community and ALL of the members of that community:

  • That you get as excited for idea #10 as you did for idea #1. 
  • That you provide empathy for the founder as they shut down ideas 1-9.
  • That you mentor failure as strongly as you mentor success.
  • That you celebrate as opposed to ostracize founders when they fail.
  • That you publicly embrace the full journey so that future founders know that they too will survive the failure.

You see the actions you take and the signals you send are viewed by everyone in the community and have a significant impact.

If you say you want a large, thriving startup community, then don’t forget your support for the founders and their failures that led up to that huge breakout success.