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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 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.

4 responses to “Embrace Losing”

  1. Christina

    Great post! I’ve worked through at least 3 meltdown losses that I can recall. There’s one thing that they’ve forced me to acknowledge painfully: ‘WE’ve got something wrong’.

    One case (after we had analyzed it) backed us into a complete UI redesign – turning the UI inside-out as I put it at the time. We switched from a feature-centric (as I can now see) UI to a much more user-centric UI. But without the ‘slap in the face’ of that meltdown loss we couldn’t see that, because we were so enamored with the feature set.

    In both cases the issue was for US to fix – which made it extra painful to acknowledge, on top of the business strike-out, but once resolved helped us to figure out how to go the next level. It was telling us something.

    So the take-away for me was to find the learning in the strike-out, and figure out how to fix it, within the span of what we control..

  2. Mark Suster

    Thanks for the great story, Christina. You’re exactly right – you need to embrace the loss and see what you can learn from it. Too often people’s reaction is, “stupid client made the wrong decision” rather than to truly get to the bottom of why you lost. The former is certainly more painful – but more valuable.