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My Fail Tale Prototype

Evolving ideas on celebrating failure as a learning opportunity.

Photo of Louise Wilson
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Celebrating Failure
I believe that a way to support web entrepreneurs is to help them realise that they will fail at some point during their start-up career. Encouraging people to embrace failure means they will be ready and hopefully learn from their mistakes to become successful. is a platform to start a movement around embracing and celebrating failure which grew out of my TED Positive: Sharing Failure concept on the Web Start-up Challenge.
The idea is to collate, feature and share stories so that others can learn from each other. It is hoped that this will give emerging entrepreneurs the confidence to launch their own start-up and let people realise that they will fail at some point and that these are opportunities to learn.
Entrepreneurs are risk takers yet they still don't want to fail. It's inevitable and one person's failure is often another person's success. If this platform facilitates 'mentors', story telling and a place to learn, I feel people will be happier to admit they have failed along the way and more entrepreneurs will become successful.
Challenges in Prototyping
The biggest challenge was going from receiving 'virtual help' on the OpenIDEO platform to having to realise on my own. I met up with a couple of other OpenIDEO members in a cafe here in London to help me brainstorm and then had the luxury of discussing my concept in Brussels at the EU Digital Agenda Assembly with the other challenge winners. From there, it's been daunting to be forge ahead, alone in the big wide world!
Talking about a concept and having ideas to develop it are great – but then what? There's no team there to bounce ideas off, to plan time with or receive help/support from. I had no budget to start prototyping so I decided to dedicate time in my freelance days to do it myself. I took a deep breath, discovered the joys of Wordpress, sent many emails to friends for advice, did a large amount of googling, hung out at the TechHub cafe and just got on with it.
Get Involved
People can help in a number of ways:
1) spread the word about the website
2) recommend founders to share their stories
3) help me improve and develop the site through wordpress/CSS coding and ideas
4) share stories of failure, explain learnings, pivots and iterations towards success
Going Forward
I want to be the online community where everyone goes to learn from other peoples mistakes. I envision a fun, inspiring site to which everyone feels that they can contribute and turn to when needed. My dream is for European entrepreneurs to be happy to admit when they have failed, to realise the value of learning from our mistakes and for more entrepreneurs to take the plunge into the world of start-ups.

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Photo of Sascha

Hey Louise, great idea and good start for implementing this ideas! I have just had a short glance at your page and idea, nevertheless I'd like to share some idas which immediately camt to my mind while browsing:

1. Aggreate learnings: it'd be helpful if there is a page which summarizes the best learnings shared by users. This could be also a way to get people involved, e.g by voting for the most helpful learing, ending up in a top 10/ top 100.
2. Unified article structure: a guide for new bloggers how to share their story, so it's easier for readers to get used to reading and focus on what they atre most interested in (like 2-sentence overview, learnings, challanges, conclusion). That's what does beautifully: making the reading experiences the same for every story, hence provide a neat user experience.
3. Taggig: I consider tagging as the most useful feature for blogs and websites in gerneral. I see huge potential in using the tagging feature on your blog better, thinking about a category concept users can use, starting with: what would I need if I'd a user?

Hope this helped. I wish you all the best for your project, I think this really can make a good impact!


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