If at first you don't succeed, learn from it!

Nobody likes to fail and most people don't like to discuss their failures. But in entrepreneurialism, failure can be an important step in moving forward.

"The reality of it is the likelihood of failure is really high for startups," says Brian Parks, General Manager for Galvanize in Colorado and Co-Founder and former CEO of Brandfolder.

Parks moderated the Founders Talking Failure panel of Denver Startup Week on Tues. Sept. 16 at Galvanize. Parks was joined by Mike Biselli, Co-Founder of MedPassage; Tom Higley, Founder of FortNET, NETdelivery, Service Metrics and Latis Networks/StillSecure; and Jess Lybeck, who co-founded Dabble.

"We're talking about failure and how to handle that and if you do experience failure personally and professional and how to view that as a catalyst for growth," Parks explains. "Failing for failure's sake is not that awesome, but you can learn from it and grow, and that is awesome."

Parks served as Brandfolder's CEO for about 18 months, from the "back of the napkin stage to generating revenue," he says. While the company still exists, he's no longer with it. He says he considered launching a new startup right away, but instead started reflecting on it, which has allowed him to better understand the value in the experience.

"I think investors view failure in a certain way as well," Parks says. They want to know how the person who was in charge of a company can relate that experience, what they've learned about it and what they will do differently in future situations."

He says it's important that fresh entrepreneurs "don't act like there's not a potential for failure. I don't know how you grow or take a big swing without risking that you'll fail."

Contact Confluence Denver Innovation & Jobs News Editor Chris Meehan with tips and leads for future stories at chris@confluence-denver.com.

Read more articles by Chris Meehan.

Chris is a Denver-based freelance writer, editor and communications specialist. He covers sustainability, social issues and other topics.
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  • Galvanize
    Golden Triangle: 1062 Delaware St.
    LoDo: 1644 Platte St.
    Denver, Colorado 80204 / 80202 Website