‘Stop being afraid of failure and start embracing it.’ Explorium HK and Hong Kong Start Up Support Group (HKSSG) joined forces to host Hong Kong’s first ever FailCon, a global conference originated in Silicon Valley for start-up founders and entrepreneurs to learn from and prepare for failure on the road to success.
The event is a one-day conference for entrepreneurs, investors, developers, and designers to study their own and others’ failures, reflect and to prepare for success.
On April 22, over 120 members from HKSSG’s community gathered to listen to an array of specially curated guest speakers and discuss what it means to fail, persevere and bounce back, with the premise of Failcon being that through sharing stories about failure, entrepreneurs become better and more resilient leaders.
What we learned from the speakers at Failcon:
- From John Tsang, who pursued a highly-engaging bid to become Chief Executive of Hong Kong, then pivoted to become a champion of the Hong Kong startup ecosystem, about staying enthusiastic and motivated in the face of adversity.
- From Douglas Young, the founder of G.O.D., a design firm embedding Hong Kong signatures in their designs, that failure is a necessity, especially when it comes to design, and that as a community in Hong Kong we need to be more open about discussing and celebrating failure.
- From Erica Cheung, the whistle-blower at Theranos — a health tech company that infamously made false claims on their blood testing technology — we learned about the ethical side of failure and prompted us to ask ourselves, when does failing become unethical or even criminal and how great leaders can fail without crossing the ethical line?
- From Claude Ducharme, the Co-Founder/CTO of Gobee bike — the startup which raised $9mm to bring dockless bikes to HK but which eventually ran out of business — we learned how to do a great post mortem on a startup venture. Claude walked us through what the team could have done differently at the key junctions of the Gobee bike journey.
In addition to a very relevant speaker line-up at Failcon, our team ran a breakout session which opened the floor to the participants to discuss personal failures, share insights and self-reflect.
Even though Failcon was only the first such event to be held in Hong Kong, we were happy to see the level of engagement and the quality of the conversations, which makes us believe that more content on the topic of failure will inspire the future leaders the Hong Kong startup ecosystem and will make our community more open to new ideas, experiments and yes, constructive failures.