When do you call it quits on a failed startup?

QUESTION:

When do you call it quits on a failed startup? And how do you reinsert yourself into the conventional world?

ANSWER:

Steve Hoffman

Captain Hoff

by Steve Hoffman, Cofounder of Founders Space

Great question. Most entrepreneurs have trouble letting go of a failed startup. Ask yourself this, if it wasn’t your company, would you work for strictly equity? If your answer is “No”, then you should call it quits.

Emotional attachments shouldn’t factor into your decision. Yes, it’s your company. But if your company is going nowhere, it’s time to let it go.

As for reinserting yourself into the “conventional” world, don’t let a failed startup hold you back. You’ve probably learned far more from founding a startup than you would have from any other job. When you go in for your next job interview, explain exactly what you learned from your experience and how it’s made you even more valuable.

The best and brightest minds in Silicon Valley have failed in the past. No one gets it right 100% of the time. Some have big flame outs, while others have little failures along the way to success. In the end, if you are trying something risky, you are bound to fail once in a while. Nothing is a sure bet in life.

So go aggressively and find the best fit for your talents. I’d start by applying for jobs at other startups. They could really benefit from someone with your experience.

I hope this helps!

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