Stories of Failure: Learning from Mistakes

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Venture Capitalist database CB Insights conducted an extensive review examining what contributes to the failure of new businesses.

The findings raise the question: How can entrepreneurs or new product developers test their ideas before investing the significant time and capital required to actually bring them to life? How can we spot the ideas that are likely to succeed instead of wasting our efforts on those that are prone to failure?

Here are three strategies worth trying:

Look for successful competitors. When it comes to establishing demand, thriving competitors are a good sign, not the red flag many entrepreneurs view them to be. Being the first mover in a space can produce situational advantages, but showing up late gives you the benefit of added perspective.

Check for search traffic. When people are searching for a product to solve a problem they’re facing, they type what they’re looking for into Google. Through keyword research, entrepreneurs can learn what people are searching for and use the findings to gauge demand for a product or service idea.

Test your marketing promise. People don’t buy products. They buy promises. Generally speaking, customers don’t truly know what it’s like to own a product until after they’ve purchased it. They don’t spend money because of any realized benefits. They’re paying for the benefits promised in the sales copy and testimonials.



  • Insights: Aclear, deep, and sometimes sudden understanding of a complicated problem or situation.
  • Thriving: Growing strongly growing, developing, or being successful.
  • Show Up: To arrive somewhere in order to join a group of people, especially late or unexpectedly.
  • Gauge: Measure to calculatean amount, especially by using a measuring device.


  • Do you know an entrepreneur?

Welcome to this activity created by Junior Advisor Areli Gallaga from Narvarte Branch. Take note of all the pink words, read the text, watch the video and answer the question in the comment section below.

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