When it comes to start-ups, failure is an almost certainty. According to the talk Eric Ries gives to Stanford University students, what matter isn’t if you fail, but how you do it.
It’s all about knowing when to pivot and how to do so.
You could follow the perfect business plan, as did the first small business Ries worked for, and still fail. Having a plan is great, but having the ability to adapt to changing conditions is better. When you look at successful businesses and their founders talk about how they always knew that this would be the direction they’d be going in, that’s wrong. No one really knows that they’ll be pivoting, or in what direction they’ll be pivoting, until the time comes to do so.
So just keep in mind that you can do everything right and still fail, if your start-up isn’t lean enough to rapidly adjust to a changing market or even the realities of its current market.