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TED Positive - sharing failure **UPDATED**

Let's learn from other people's mistakes and create an event where other people's failure is praised. Why reinvent the wheel? A fun, engaging set of speakers could help new start-ups proceed quickly.

Photo of Louise Wilson
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Accepting failure and learning from others has been highlighted as an important aspect of start-up life! Let's get all those entrepreneurs together to explain where they went wrong and how they would have done things differently.

The aim is to create a fun, engaging environment where failure is a positive not a negative. The TED structure lends itself well to this - short, concise, inspiring and varied.

Failure happens in so many different ways, at unexpected times and often has a personal effect on the company or individual - let's hear these stories!

How will your concept support web entrepreneurship?

No matter what stage your start-up is, you can come along to the events (held locally like the current TED EX/ED series) and learn from others. Even if two entrepreneurs have had the same problem, they will tell their story in a different way and will have over come it differently. It is not about giving away trade secrets but about not wanting others to fall into the same traps as you. The aim is help start-ups accelerate faster and move their businesses on by being inspired.

What kinds of resources will be needed to get this concept off the ground and scale it?

Venues would be required. Someone will need to organise the event. Marketing will be needed although this could piggy back off the existing TED series. Entrepreneurs who have failed at some point will need to be recruited. Entrepreneurs wanting to learn will need to be invited and pay a small fee to attend. The fee would pay for the venue and organisation. **UPDATED** (see diagram to help explain how the sessions will run) · The talks will be themed around 'failure' to create a series of talks and focus each session. A host will be appointed (could be the same one each time or curated?) to facilitate and chair. · There could be a 15 min break between talks to allow questions to be organized and for people to talk to the speakers. · The host will take notes during the talks (inspired by www. so that the attendees can take away a curated capture of the event (attendees could photograph the notes but the notes could be published into a takeaway booklet). · Speaker 1 could be a successful business person who is sharing stories from their start-up. · Speaker 2 could be someone who is currently starting up their business and learning as they are going. · Speaker 3 could be a successful business person from another country who is videoing their story in.

How could we get started?

We would need TED to agree the new series and help organise it under their current branding. Entrepreneurs with stories to tell could be recruited through twitter. **UPDATED** What it needs to become viable: • A catchy name and logo. • Endorsement from known names and companies. • A means of asking questions without having too long spent on the questions. • A networking session to let others mingle and talk. • A speaker from another country to have pre-recorded their story to show as the third talk. • An agreed list of event titles; finding your team, securing funding, finding your business model, marketing your idea, surviving the competition, surprise. • Sourcing story-tellers from other countries to record their talk. • Interesting, insightful people to talk about their start-up failures. • A range of successful, happy and changed career individuals. Barriers to success: • Interesting and inspiring story-tellers. • An enthusiastic host who is good at facilitating • Exciting marketing to encourage people to come along. Visioning success: • People will be added to a waiting list because the events will be too popular. • The venue size will need to be increased. • There will be waiting list of story-tellers. • Start-ups will add the events to their calendar as a must attend. • Every person wanting to be successful with their start-up will see this series as the most important one to attend. • The events will spread to other countries. When it could happen: • Last Monday of the month starting end of June.

Virtual Team:

Thank you for the following people for their wonderful suggestions, insights and builds: Stefan Ritter Ashley Jablow Shana Crews Jyotirmaya Mahapatra Luc Shorter Amy Bonsall James McBennett Jemina Lehmuskoski Candace Carl Johan Rising Meena Kadri Charlene Lam Anne-Laure Fayard mariann Danielle Barnes Tim Hood


Join the conversation:

Photo of Sascha Bardua

Hey Louise, great idea! I have heard of similar events where people talk about their failures to inspire and teach others - with huge success. Have you thought about using to share those events and organize a test events and ask for feedback? Furthemore, probably a coach for helping entrepreneurs to learn from their failures would be a cool thing in the future (like a Failure Coaching). This could add huge personal value.


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