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25 things with Ben Kepes: Five things I've learnt from observing failure in business

25 Things

25 things with Ben Kepes: Five things I've learnt from observing failure in business

Ben Kepes is a technology analyst, commentator and consultant. His commentary has been widely published in such outlets as Forbes, Wired and The Guardian, while he has also been an investor in a large number of early-stage technology start-ups across three continents and has had successful exits to listed and privately held companies in Canada, the US, and the UK. He currently sits on the boards of a number of non-profit, privately held and listed companies in New Zealand and the UK and has won a number of accolades, including being a recipient of the Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award in 2016. Here, he shares five things he's learnt from observing failure in business.

Fresh perspectives

Humans are facing the fastest rate of change and some of the biggest challenges our species has ever encountered. Never before have transformative skillsets, agile thinking and resilience been needed so much. And, not just resilience to cope with the big events, but to better cope with everyday challenges and failures. Jennifer Young explores how we can become comfortable with change and discomfort, learn how to bounce through failure and learn how to transform ourselves, our businesses and our world.

Opinion

For Idealog's latest issue, we explored the theme of transformation in business and how change is a constant, but with that, inevitably, comes failure. Idealog editor Elly Strang says the conclusion she came to – much like tech entrepreneur Robett Hollis'​ hashtag#RIPTallPoppy call out – was adding another death to the mix: RIP to the overnight success story. It does a disservice to all the founders out there shedding blood, sweat and tears into their ventures. Here, she shares why we need to recalibrate what success looks like, by being more realistic about what happens in that journey towards it.

Opinion

There are some big myths out there in start-up land, Vend and OMGTech! founder Vaughan Fergusson says. The overnight success story is the biggest myth out of them all, as it comes with an invisible trail of failures behind it. Here, he takes on New Zealand’s attitude to failure, its ugly sibling, tall poppy syndrome, and explains why all founders should embrace the fear of failure and not shame those who have given it a go.

Opinion

Wendy Thompson is the founder and CEO of the successful social media marketing agency Socialites, and has 16 years digital marketing experience in some of New Zealand's top advertising agencies. However. that doesn't mean she hasn't made her fair share of mistakes in her career. Here, in her typically colourful way, she shares four mistakes she's learnt from all her years in business – and the important lessons she learnt from them.