DeVos and Start Garden are slowly making inroads in changing the West Michigan community’s view of startup businesses too. Michigan had an economy that was reliant on the “Fortune 500” company and forgot that those large automotive and manufacturing companies were startups at one time. The backgrounds of all the big business titans that we look so fondly on are often fraught with stories of failure.
DeVos himself will openly talk about his failures. From his own web business to his first pre-seed venture accelerator Momentum in 2009 that failed for a number of reasons, DeVos holds nothing back. Even Start Garden is far from successful with DeVos admitting that none of the earliest $5,000 investments have led to the creation of a sustainable business, but a couple are “somewhat close.”
Failure is par for the course when you are trying to break new ground. There are so many factors that can impact the course of your startup. Small businesses have a high rate of failure and those businesses are not trying to develop products and all the other factors that separate a startup business from a small business.
Even those big companies have failures. Think of all the new products that companies have come out with that are distant memories (remember clear Pepsi?). Do you look negatively on those companies when those new products fail? No you just think that was a bad idea for this reason or that reason. Those companies generally have some lessons they learned from those failures that help them develop their business going forward. The same outlook should apply to someone with a startup.
There are plenty of resources in West Michigan to aid your startup. There are successful entrepreneurs, advisers, mentors, groups and so much more that can guide you with their own lessons they have learn through the school of hard knocks. There are also professionals that can help eliminate or reduce certain outside risks and help ensure that your business operates as you plan. In the end, if you fall then you get up and go after it again. And isn’t that admirable?
Source: “Rick DeVos has failed. (And he wants you to try it, too.)” by Joe Boomgaard of MiBiz