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What should a failed startup founder do next?


Most founders are not successful in their startups. According to reports, nine out of ten startups fail. What should the founders do if their startup fails?

As someone who has “Founder” on their resume, you have proved that you want to be a leader and not just an employee, which means employers are less likely to hire you. Thus, getting a new job isn’t going to be easy.

Moreover, going back to a job after having done is startup will not be interesting. But, if the startup failed because you weren’t compatible with the startup, you can go back to your job with little problem. For founders who had come out of a failed startup, there was a preference for corporate jobs over starting a new venture. Statistically, 41% of founders chose a corporate job while 33% went to find another startup.

The best career option for a founder whose startup has failed is to start a new one. Whether a startup has succeeded or failed, the founder learns a lot from both their mistakes and the things they did right. The connections they made also helped the founder a lot in their next ventures.

Did you know that famous entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have experienced failure before growing a successful startup? Let’s talk about some founders who experienced failed startups before successful ones:

Milton Hershey:

He opened a candy shop in the heart of Philadelphia but it never profited. Years later, he tried to open another one but it, too, failed due to lack of finances. But he did not give up on his dreams. He tried once again to start a new candy shop but this time he only sold caramels. His candy shop was beyond successful that’s when he decided to open a Hershey’s Candy factory and we all know where Hershey’s stands right now. It really has been a hell of a ride for Milton Hershey and it is also an inspiring tale for all of the founders whose startup has failed.

Elon Musk:

From a very small age must know that he wanted to be an entrepreneur. After graduating from college he opened a company called the Zip2 Corporation. While this was a success the other companies that he founded had failed previously. But it didn’t stop him.

When he founded the tesla company, he changed the history of the car industry by manufacturing environment-friendly cars that could run on solar and electrical energy. This would not have been possible if he had given up just because his previous companies had failed.

Apart from starting another startup, founders sometimes work as a consultant, contractors, or economy workers, Product managers, etc. Some of them decide to improve their educational qualifications. If you still have money left despite your failed startup, you can be an investor.

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But, if you decide on going back to your job, you should choose the department that complements your skills. If you were great at getting press coverage, you might be valuable in marketing or PR. If you led efforts to forge deals with major corporations, consider business development.

Product management is another common option. Companies prefer hiring people with relevant experience. So it will be a wise choice to apply to the companies that work in the field your startup did.

If you are a technical founder and have good coding then you can easily go for technical jobs in other companies without any major hustle. Also, if you have a tag of any good college or any respectable degree that also provides you a backup after your startup failure.

Many a time people join the job but along with that, they work on their startup dream and later on leave the job to live their Entrepreneur dream. Yet, at the end of the day, whether you want to land a new job or start a startup from the scratch is all your choice. If you believe that you can be a great entrepreneur then there’s nothing that should stop you from reaching your goals. Remember, most successful founders have experienced failure first.

But, if you think entrepreneurship isn’t your thing, the best option would be to go back to your office job and create a successful career out of it.

Success lies everywhere, you just need to figure out the path to find yours.

Also, do check our startup cemetery section to learn from other startup failures, so that you won’t repeat the same mistakes.

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