Mike Arrington has an interesting piece on Yossi Vardi, a prolific tech investor of the past 40 years (more on Yossi in a bit). Within this piece a killer speech given by Teddy Roosevelt in 1910 was referenced. In an eloquent way, Roosevelt managed to sum up why it’s better to try, even when failure is an option.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
It’s not important that the man in the arena didn’t win, it’s that he’s actually in the arena. Only a few people win at anything, especially the first time. Failure is an important part of learning, and eventually succeeding. How many great sports teams have had to go through “rebuilding seasons” before they built dynasties?
Yossi Vardi, an investor in tech startups, knows what it means to fail. As a matter of fact, he especially likes to invest in startups that have failed in the past because “It makes them want to win even more”.
Yet another reminder to not let failure discourage you.