Fail Fast or Show Some Commitment and Fight Till the End


While browsing through the March-April 2015 issue of Khaleejesque, I came across Hashim Behbehani’s article titled Failure: The Cornerstone of a Successful Startup Community. In it he mentions that in Silicon Valley, startups are encouraged to “try everything possible to make an idea successful, admit failure if it doesn’t work, learn from the experience, and take those lessons forward to the next venture.” In the Gulf, however, while there is a gradual shift taking place, this perspective hasn’t been fully adopted yet and failure is regarded as something to be ashamed of. 

At Sirdab Lab, we foster a culture in which failure is acceptable and even encouraged because we believe that it is a significant component of the learning process. Not many startups get it right the first time. Fear of failure is an impediment to creativity and productivity, discouraging many aspiring entrepreneurs from making the attempt to start a business in the first place. 

An effective way to overcome that fear of failure is to face it. Identify what the root cause of your fear is and find a solution for it. What is it that you’re so terrified of? Your product not being good enough? Your business not being sustainable? Not being able to secure funding? Once you’ve realized what it is that you’re really afraid of, focusing on a solution becomes easier. 

Most importantly however, alter your opinion of failure. Accept it and view it as one of the most valuable lessons that you’ll learn on your entrepreneurial rollercoaster. 
And let’s be honest … in the long run, what’s going to make you feel worse? Failing at a venture that you could always use as a learning experience? Or living with the regret of not pursuing your dream of starting a business because you were too afraid you’d fail? 

This reminds me of a quote that Bill Gates coined, “It is fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

Moving on to what’s happening at Sirdab Lab. It’s important to learn from the experiences of other entrepreneurs as well. This month, we’re hosting serial entrepreneur Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa as part of our monthly Startup Grind series where he’ll speak about his entrepreneurial journey and the lessons he learnt along the way.

In the first week of May, Haider Al-Mosawi, Sirdab co-founder and UX designer, will be giving a UX design workshop to help you improve an existing website or application you’re working on, or to get you started on the right foot with any upcoming project (even though he’s left-footed).

Zainab Mirza
Community Outreach & Grammar Officer