LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman on the Myths of Failure

LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman on the Myths of Failure

Reid Hoffman offers insights from his first startup that failed. Here are some of the mistakes he made:

  • my decision to build my perfect vision rather than launching a less-refined product that we could adapt based on market feedback delayed finding product-market fit.
  • Another mistake I made was to focus on hiring people with 10+ years of successful experience in a particular job…When people fail, they think, “I need to learn more.” I should have hired learners, not “knowers”.
  • My final big mistake was picking the wrong investors… And when I went to them and said, “I’ve learned from these mistakes, and therefore we should do X,” they responded, “No. We just need to do television advertising, and that’s what we’re going to make the company do.”

“A classic but frequently misunderstood dictum for founders is that they should fail fast and celebrate failure. When I hear this, I think, “No, no, no!” The goal isn’t to fail fast – it’s to learn fast by tackling your most dangerous potential points of failure. By testing your investment thesis as quickly as possible, you give yourself more time to correct your mistakes and change your approach.”

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