FailCon: Finding Success Through Failure

Ben Lee

Ben Lee

CEO and Co-founder of Neon Roots

Ben Lee is the co-founder and CEO of Neon Roots, a digital development agency with a mission to destroy the development model and rebuild it from the ground up. After a brief correspondence with Fidel Castro at age nine, Ben decided to start doing things his own way, going from busboy to club manager at a world-class nightclub before he turned 18. Since then, Ben has founded or taken a leading role in 5 businesses in everything from software development to food and entertainment.

It’s always a lot more fun to talk about your successes than your failures.  More than likely you’ll want to sweep your missteps under the rug and move on.  But hold on.  Don’t blast that failure into oblivion just yet.  Take a good hard look at it, learn from it, and let it inform your next startup.  That’s what FailCon is all about.

failcon“FailCon is a one-day conference for technology entrepreneurs, investors, developers, and designers to study their own and others’ failures and prepare for success.”

Started in San Francisco in 2009, FailCon was a response to events that only highlighted success.  The organizers wanted to provide a safe, productive place to discuss failure.  In the tech industry, failure is a taboo topic, but FailCon is working to change that.  They’re doing a good job at it, too.  The conference has gone global, taking place in over a dozen cities on six continents and will be appearing in Tokyo on June 18th.

“Like most, I learn by watching other entrepreneurs I admire and either follow somewhat in their footsteps or know when to pivot if necessary. There are many amazing events out there, but one day I aspire to be speaking about all my failures at FailCon.”
– Andrew Vest, Preferling

failconFailure doesn’t always bring out the best in entrepreneurs.  Shame, humiliation, guilt, and a laundry list of negative emotions usually follow.  The stress can be overwhelming.  Now you’re derailed, and it can be even harder to recover and move on to the next project.  There are a lot of risks to starting a new venture.  In order to innovate and launch, you have to be prepared for failure, because it’s coming in one way or another.  You have to anticipate vulnerabilities and have some risk management implemented.

How do you handle your own failures?  Do you embrace them?  Even the smartest, brightest minds in the tech field have invested in or worked for startups that have failed.   But those who are most successful have learned from those mistakes.  Our Los Angeles development shop has had its fair share of missteps, but these mistakes have always led us to bigger and better things.

FailCon is all about sharing stories.  It’s about what didn’t work and how you either pivoted to fix the problems or decide to walk away.  It’s an event where entrepreneurs like you can learn to use failure to build to something bigger.

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