Browsing Tag


Dr. Alec Johnson's Posts

Failure Isn’t Natural

Most of you have heard some statistic about the high failure rate of new businesses.  I admit, those statistics are a bit intimidating.  If someone told me that there was a 6 out of 7 chance (I hear that statistic a lot) of my new business failing within the first two years, I’d be considering a different career.  What fascinates me most, though, is the implicit assumption by researchers and media alike that these statistics are somehow an outcome of a natural law – that starting a new business has an extremely high level of unmanageable risk and uncertainty.  I couldn’t disagree more.  My vast anecdotal experience suggests that 4 out of those 6 failures result from poor choices made by the founder – not some unfathomable invisible force, like gravity, set upon us by the earth’s proximity to other large planets.

Entrepreneurship, like art, has very few laws that it must abide by, the least of which is some natural law of failure.  There is risk and uncertainty for sure, but most of it can be managed in a way that moves your odds of success from 1/7 to something more like 5/7.

Dr. Jay Ebben's Posts

The Risk of Failure?

In my experience, two of the key roadblocks that keep people from heading down an entrepreneurial path have to do with risk.  The first is the risk that if they start investigating their concept, they will be told they have a “bad” idea.  The second is what happens if they start the business and it doesn’t work out?

This is why programs like our practicing entrepreneurs group and our entrepreneurial lab are so important.   Continue Reading