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Startup Journal: Failing Hard and Failing Fast

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If you're not failing, you're not trying. It's a clichéd phrase that finds a footing anywhere people are looking to grow. And it finds a particular application in the startup world. Failing hard and failing fast is a necessary piece of successful, exponential growth.

When you're building a startup, you have this product or service that you think is great, that maybe fits a legitimate need, but you have no idea how to get it to the masses. It doesn't matter how bright or experienced you are, because every new startup necessitates a new or different growth strategy. You can't know which strategy will work best until you try several.

There's at least twenty different ways of attracting customers and growing your sales. Each pertains to different demographics with different thought processes with different professional roles with different price points. If you pick one and only one, you'll likely fail and never get back up again.

But if you try a few or all of them, you're going to fail hard, fail fast, and find the place that fits you best. You'll find the place(s) you can grow quickest at every stage of your startup. In this scenario, you have to "fail" over and over again so you can find success. It's like mining for gold. You've got find a lot of useless rock before you get to the money. This applies to product development as well.

If you are a developer, you know firsthand how many times you have to try and fail to create something before you get it right. And then you have bug fixes to deal with. On the marketing side, which is married to product development, you have to try and fail a hundred times before you achieve product/market fit (PMF). Again, failing hard and failing fast is a part of what you have to do to find the right answers, to find success.

Mistakes are not bad. Mistakes are good! Barring that you implement what you learn along the way. Being in a fast-paced, explosive growth startup means failing hard and failing fast is included in the job description. To succeed, you have to intentionally try strategies and areas and features that might not work in order to figure out what's best for your customers and for you.