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Samir Jalloul
World Citizen USA
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The Biggest Successes are Often Bred from Failures [Video]
09:02:22 PM Tuesday Feb 26, 2008


Randy Komisar talks about what distinguishes the Silicon Valley is not its successes, but the way in which it deals with failures. The Valley is about experimentation, innovation, and taking new risks. Only a small business that can deal with failure and still make money can exist in this environment. It is a model based on many, many failures and a few extraordinary successes.

Check it out here ---> http://samirjalloul.com/images/Komisar5.swf

Best of all,
Samir


The content of this page —graphics, text and other elements—is © Copyright 2007 prospective author, and Raioo, Inc., only when stated otherwise, and may not be reprinted or retransmitted in whole or in part without the expressed written consent of the publisher.



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11:25 pm    March 6, 2008

Adnane Ben. message
10
9
I always looked at startups, the real genuine ones, as carriers of disruptive technologies, products and services. They're in to better the world, and if it works they certainly reap the profits. If it doesn't work, their idea wasn't disruptive enough.

Everything else is either a copycat or a sponge. Mostly in for the pure profit, and profit from the average person. They're in to add more overhead to the world. They don't last long.

I'd be interested in getting together it's been a while.

·

8:41 pm    March 4, 2008

Samir Jalloul message
9
Apologies on my late response, I've put something and totally forgot to post it towards your latests response Rasta.

A good entrepreneur or VC would sabotage a start-up and would measure the temperature on a day to day basis. Failure is only inflicted if you decide to fail your business and remain impermeable to other ideas. I am not sure I follow you "impatience is not the result of faulty character; simply circumstance" I will assume you mean things like money, area of specialization, willingness to fail...etc. Is that correct?

As for entrepreneurial minded people the Chinese are indeed business owners in many context, they have a natural drive to see ideas through. It's true at least, I've spent five years reading it in various Harvard Journals and even recall seeing a chapter of an Entrepreneurship text book dedicated to traits in entrepreneurship. What makes a good entrepreneur is a culmination of positive traits, early childhood drive to open a transistor radio and engage in life changing experiences. It's always the desire to change the world, that's the big picture making things right, right a wrong or prevent the end of something good. In my own experience it's always thinking about new ideas, not business models.

This is the classical view on what make an entrepreneur from a text book "Entrepreneur have traits", but I don't believe this is an accurate way of looking at the matter. I don't know how to descirbe it in words, but for me it a feeling that things aren't fitting somewhere as they should or I am not happy with the world. I know those are strong feelings, but thats a position that I feel toward my current startup in the Mobile Application arena. I personally feel that we don't have the best of the best....you'll call my crazy for the next point, but the iPhone is not hot in my mind. I might have pissed a few people, but that's how I feel. Or we are not getting the bang out of our phones yet. I still believe their is room for innovation and services people are hungry for. That's our mantra and we collectively believe will change the world.

For the Moroccan youth, the possibilities are endless and they will need to start exploring and pushing the limits. Asking questions that drive people mental and getting going. Finding soul mates in different capacities and get going. It's the only way great entrepreneur become involved and proactive in this industry. Their is no secret receipt only hard work, and a belief their work is going to change the life of someone using it!

I hope this clarifies those areas in questions Rasta. As for cutting you off those were not my intentions, I just didn't think viewing startups from an economic was well justified. ;-) Perhaps the best way to view startups is more from how startups are changing the economy of business in a sector, country...etc.

·

10:32 pm    February 28, 2008

Rasta Gnawi message
8
It is possible that my comments were ambiguous. I was responding to what makes a business survive failure. I think the interviewee's comments were aimed at characterizing failure. The message I got was "don't fear failure, be open-minded about it." I think it's a great attitude in order to create value.

He speaks of a personal failure; one where personal goals driven by personal ambitions were not met. I agree with him; but it's a philosophical statement. He welcomes certain types of failure as a means to improve. You would characterize him as "economically patient;" he is willing to give up today's gain/suffer today's loss in anticipation of a larger gain tomorrow. Someone else might have a more impatient way of viewing success and failure. That impatience is not the result of faulty character; simply circumstance.

He actually said something that made me pause. When he was characterizing certain ethnic groups as more entrepreneurial than others. I hear that a lot and it makes me wonder if there was something in the long-term historical evolution of the Chinese for example that makes people perceive them as more entrepreneurial or something that happened as a result of more recent history, and more importantly: policies. I don't know the answer, but it's a question that's at the heart of development economics. We believe that "technology" viewed very broadly is how a society transforms inputs into outputs (includes culture.) Can a group of people acquire a particular cultural element in a short amount of time (1 generation or less)? Notice that Morocco has changed its academic curriculum at all school levels to include classes in entrepreneurship.

I don't agree that using an economist's lens to view "entrepreneurship" discredits the idea of a startup. But two things are happening now:
1- it is past mid-night, and I need my beauty sleep
2- you made the statement, so the burden of proof is on you :) I don't really need proof (which doesn't mean I don't care;) you just cut me a little since I am a passionate student of economics.

·

5:13 pm    February 28, 2008

Samir Jalloul message
7
5
Hello Rasta,

Try not to view entrepreneurship as a whole from an economist lens. It discredits a lot of the ideas and the notion of a startup. You refer to supply & demand and margins in the software industry that, don't necessarily translate to the health of one or many startups.

Silicon Valley and the Bay are thriving ecosystems, more and more ideas will continue to come. It's only a matter of individuals who are persistent and continue regarding of the outcome.

As an aside, the core to entrepreneurship the essence is making meaning, many many people who start companies to make money via the quick flip, the dot com phenomenon are the ones who don't make money. If you set out to make money, you will never make meaning or money - said by the best Guy Kawasaki

·

3:39 pm    February 28, 2008

Salem message
6
Samir,

With all the energy you're putting into your project, and your obvious FULL COMMITMENT, I'm sure you will encounter success. When you have no fear of "Failure", I think you're like a soldier who have no fear of death. They call it courage. "Celui qui ne risque rien, ne gagne rien". So stand up for success!

Experiencing failure and dealing with it successfully, requires a great amount of courage and skills that the majority of human beings just don't have. I think this ability depends on another major quality : Leadership armed with a battery of efficient strategies and numerous innovative tactics. Failure is something nobody wishes to experience.

Failure is a major threat one can experience in his way to success. But I will emphasize once more that failure shouldn't be fatal, and for that it shouldn't be the person's failure as opposed the company's failure whereas the company stops all operations and goes completely out of business, because if it is, one never will know success.

As the saying goes here : " The hit that doesn't break your back, will strengthen it"

Good luck and best regards

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8:24 am    February 28, 2008

Rasta Gnawi message
5
"deal with failure and still make money" in my mind is different from "experience failure and still make money." Failure also needs to be explained in terms of levels of survival that it eats into. A fatal failure is fatal when experienced; dealing with a fatal failure probably requires injections of serious capital (human and physical) which could give the appearance of "profitability" (used very loosely here.)

Speaking strictly from an economics point of view, what allows a business to experience a failure and still make money, is the business's ability to price its products/services in a way that allows it to still make money when revenues fall. How can it achieve that? By including the loss associated with the possibility of failure in its product prices.

What allows you to including such a cushion in your price? The demand for your product. So if we aggregate silicon valley companies in one unit and ignore individual company failures, then there is probably enough demand for aggregate silicon valley products to keep a fat margin (average software company gross margin: 80%+ not bad!)

So it's all in pricing. When you have enough demand and limited supply, you can charge whatever (look at oil prices.) I suspect if other parts of the world are able to put together areas dedicated to research and development, and finance those areas with some VC money, you'd get more supply of "silicon valley" products, which will push prices down and margins closer to breakeven. You'll likely also have to establish some high-powered schools to screen the idea generators, and that can take a while. So supply of "silicon valley" might remain limited for some time to come.

·

11:28 pm    February 27, 2008

Samir Jalloul message
4
1
Wa Si Adnane,

Wa ra bayna k sta3mal IE 7.0.

Example 1: Apple in the 80's
Example 2: Napster

Shall I continue....?

·

11:24 pm    February 27, 2008

Samir Jalloul message
3
2
Hello Baba Salem,

Indeed, I hope all is from your end. I've been busy and meant to continue writing on Raioo and my personal blog, but I am afraid much of my time these days is spent on my own startup. It's very personal and that one idea is my life.

I personally believe failure is a great emotion for any new entrepreneur testing the waters. It's a life lesson and a reality every entrepreneur must experience speaking for a personal experience. It's time, energy and every forgone opportunity. I personally don't think entrepreneurs have controls or limits, we do thinks because we make that one idea our life - we think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. And let our brain, muscles, nerves, every part of our body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone.

It's hard to generalize entrepreneurship or what constitutes of a successful companies, perhaps personal drives of the CEO a team of developers. There is no secret recipes in terms of industry, geography or product/service mix; or else big firms would be in the startup arena.

Hope that clarifies some of your questions.

Best of all,
Samir

·

11:16 am    February 27, 2008

Salem message
2
Samir J. :) ~ How are doing bro since we last saw here?
I think that the relationship between Failure and Success is an interesting issue. It's well known among wise people of experience and knowledge that we learn from errors and mistakes we do in life if adequately dealt with. The failure shouldn't be fatal though, you may still be able to get up and resume going ahead. At this level, it is still a general statement with no great value if not monitored and evaluated in specific grounds. I would appreciate it if you could explicit more the experience with this regard of the small businesses in the Silicon Valley and how one can draw lessons from it when in different contexts? I mean if you're somewhere for example in Boston, Miami or in Casablanca or Marrakesh...
·

9:44 am    February 27, 2008

Adnane Ben. message
1
I couldn't open the link...

"Only a small business that can deal with failure and still make money can exist in this environment" ~ any living examples?

·

Samir Jalloul's notes (4)
 
2008
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The Biggest Successes are Often Bred from Failures [Video]..
 
2007
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