Update: I have another view on this quote, after reading this post, also please check the other side of the argument by reading: Sunk Cost, Why You Should Give Up Often.
I came across a saying popular among startups, the saying is: “ The best way to fail is to fail fast“.
There’s many reasons why i think this saying is wrong, here’s few:
1- Failing fast means one of two things, a) you either did not invest enough time in your startup / project, or b) your concept / idea was worthless and not viable. In both cases you are telling investors to stay away from you in the future, in the first case you wasted investors money without putting enough effort and investing enough time, and in the second case you are immature business wise, and you are not an entrepreneur material.
2- Failing fast, means you did not get much time to make mistakes and to learn from your mistakes, that means it’s highly probable that you’ll be doing a lot of mistakes in your next company.
3- Failing fast means you are not getting much experience, running a startup or a company will present several challenges, and it’s these challenges that distinguish a real leader from a mediocre one, but also these challenges that teach you to become a better boss and entrepreneur.
4- Failing Fast means you are not a fighter, you have no long term vision, and not creative! You did not fight enough for your startup, and you gave up after facing a bit of problems! You did not foresee it coming and you just drove into the wall! You do not think out of the box to find solutions for your problems!
Not putting enough effort = Not being a good entrepreneur!
In developing a commercially viable light bulb, Thomas Edison created almost ten thousand prototypes before getting it right.
Thus he became famous for saying “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”
There’s a variant to the saying, “ The best way to fail is to fail cheap” , there’s no doubt that having a failed startup with only few thousand dollars lost is much better than having a failed startup with millions of dollars lost, but fail cheap might be actually caused by the simple fact of lack of capital! thus failing cheap is actually bad because the startup fail is due to lack of cash!