Why Don’t We Include Failures in Speakers’ Bios?

I say entrepreneurs should agree on full disclosure in their bios. We should list not just our successes, but also the failures. Nobody lists the failures.

For example, my bio would include not just co-founder of one software company that went public, but also co-founder of several software companies that failed completely. And not just founder of two successful businesses, but also of several that failed.

What would happen?

  1. Maybe world would be less likely to swallow those rah rah lines about how you just have to be stubborn to make it. Too many successful entrepreneurs forget how it takes more than just passion and persistence. We have loser businesses that fail regardless.
  2. Maybe we’d see that everybody makes a lot of mistakes, and sometimes they get through it okay.
  3. Maybe we’d be less likely to offer general rules about what makes entrepreneurs, or, for that matter, what makes businesses successful. Which would be okay, because in truth it’s almost all case by case. There are no general rules that apply.

Good idea?


  • Tim Berry’s Wisdom of the Week says:

    […] Why Don’t We Include Failures in Speakers’ Bios? […]

  • Fired–And Proud of It! | SageAdvice says:

    […] advice about business planning and being an entrepreneur.  His 9/21/11 post entitled “Why Don’t We Include Failures in Speakers’ Bios?” came at a moment when I had just been asked by someone as to how to spin the fact that […]

  • Gary Simning says:

    I agree. The business people I admire are the ones whose personal story I know. I know their failures and their successes. I admire them for how they handled their failures.

    I have found two general rules that always apply. 1) It will cost more than you think 2) It will take longer than you think.

    Thanks for the blog. I enjoy your posts.
    Gary Simning

  • John Caddell says:

    Tim, as you can imagine, I love this idea!

  • Jeff Robinson says:

    Fantastic Idea!

  • Gina Schreck says:

    I LOVE IT!! I respect (and connect) more with a person who can say I’ve been there, fallen but kept at it until I got it at least good enough! HA Let’s start the movement!

  • Berislav Lopac says:

    I absolutely agree! That made me thinking, and I might include my failures on my LinkedIn page too. Actually, some are there already, although not marked as such…

  • Cuauhtemoc Rodriguez says:

    I think it’s a great point! It would take more work and time as well as make the bio longer. Lol!

    It would definitely reflect that failure is not a bad thing if we learn from our mistakes and make better from them. Edison and Lincoln are a couple prominent figures known for their failures.

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