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Americans don’t use the word failure – they call it experience.

Now wouldn’t that be a good change of thinking to develop in New Zealand. There’s a suspicion we’re changing in our thinking with regards to ‘failure’, and Don Dodge gives a few more thoughts on the subject (see here).

In his blog about thoughts on business and technology, Dodge says setting impossible goals and shooting for them gives a whole new mindset.

“Think about the trajectory required to hit a target at 1,000 feet versus a target at 100 feet,” he says. “That difference in trajectory, and thinking, will create a much better result than aiming for 100 feet. That is a fundamental difference in philosophy that drives us towards success. Failure is not viewed as shameful, and will not prevent you from achieving future success.”

Dodge seems to know what he’s talking about, having seen over 300 start-ups at recent American ‘do’s’.
He posits; Start-ups? We need more finish-ups.

To give an example of the scale that the USA brings to the game, here are some of its stats.

Venture capital firms invested US$21.8 billion in 3,277 companies in 2010. Angel investors ponyed up another US$16-$20 billion in over 50,000 early stage start-ups. There are over 500,000 new companies started every year in America.

In the first half of 2010, there were 31 start up investments by angel investors in New Zealand.

Dodge makes the point that 30% of new companies fail in the first year, and 50% fail within five years.

Second time entrepreneurs have a higher success rate than first timers (my emphasis).

He continues, saying failure is experience.

Which in a nutshell says, let’s not be too hard on ourselves Kiwis.