Skip to content

Defining Entrepreneurial Failure: Understanding the Different Factors Behind Startup Failures

In this episode, we dive into Chapter 1 of the book “Why Startups Fail: A New Roadmap for Entrepreneurial Success” by Tom Eisenmann. We discuss the definition of entrepreneurial failure and the various factors that contribute to it. Eisenmann defines entrepreneurship as pursuing a novel opportunity while lacking resources, which inherently involves risk. He categorizes entrepreneurial risk into demand risk, technological risk, execution risk, and financing risk.

We also explore the definition of failure, which can vary depending on the situation. While shutting down operations may be a sign of failure, it is not always the case. The author’s definition of entrepreneurial failure is when a venture’s early investors did not or never will get back more money than they put in. This definition applies to ventures that have raised equity from outside investors, as well as bootstrapped ventures.

Furthermore, we discuss the attribution of blame when a venture fails. While mistakes made by responsible parties can contribute to failure, misfortunes that are outside of their control can also play a significant role. In some cases, even well-informed predictions can be wrong.

Ultimately, this chapter provides a comprehensive understanding of the many nuances of entrepreneurial failure. We highly recommend this book to any entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs who want to learn more about the common pitfalls of starting a business and how to avoid them.

Back To Top