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2x startup Founder & CEO who has gone to the Dark Side of VC. His first company, BuildOnline was sold in 2005, his second, Koral was acquired by Salesforce.com and became known as Salesforce Content, while Mark served as VP Product Management. In 2007 Mark joined GRP Partners in 2007 as a General Partner.  He focuses on early-stage technology companies, usually looking at Series A investment, and blogs at the aptly titled Both Sides of the Table.

3 responses to “Why The ‘Fail Fast’ Mantra Needs to Fail”

  1. Mark Fidelman

    Mark, couldn’t agree more. If I gave you $100k, I’d want you to find a way to succeed. If the business isn’t working, tell me, but give me and the other investors an option to move forward with a new plan… or let it be our choice to cut bait.

  2. javajosh

    There is often tension between two good things. Simplicity, and choice. Safety, and being bold. “Don’t give up” and “don’t throw good money after bad”. Your post is very much about the tension between the last two.

    So, yes, these kids are wrong to treat initial investments without respect. After all, “don’t give up” is good advice that they are ignoring.

    But you are wrong that you should stick it out to the bitterest end, seeking more funding if you can get it and moving around chairs on the deck of the Titanic to simulate shareholder value that will never materialize. “Don’t throw good money after bad” is the advice YOU are ignoring. Don’t ignore it just because someone else took it too far.

    As usual, the answer lies smack dab in the middle.

  3. anon

    I found this article via google, and I think there’s a lot of truth to what you say.

    Regardless, a comment from myself as a younger employee at a startup, would be that I would prefer the company to fail fast. I worked at a silicon valley startup for three years before leaving after they went through many many rounds that diluted everything. I worked for several other companies, got an MBA, actually went back to that same zombie never IPO’d startup 11 years later as a consultant, left, made some suggestions to them like it’s no longer 1986, you have to internationalize your product, and watched from afare when three years, they exited by selling their customer list to a newer startup. The employees got almost nothing, and I suspect many rounds of investors got nothing as well.

    Anyway, I am writing because I would take everything you had to say a hell of a lot more seriously, if you didn’t hang a constantly moving, attention grabbing, twitter thingy off the side of your blog.

    Srsly dude, are you writings words you think have some value!? Then why do you make it hard for people to read what you wrote.

    Luckily for me, Adblock plus in chrome fixed your problems.