If there was one word that was synonymous with Silicon Valley and entrepreneurship, it is failure. Failure, setbacks and disappointments are almost worshipped in the startup community. There are stories upon stories of the classic entrepreneur who builds a company, experiences near death and goes on to become a unicorn.
As a founder, this sentiment is completely different and frankly excruciatingly tough to acknowledge. It is very hard to actually accept the concept that failure is not an ugly road. Companies throughout their entire life cycle suffer multiple setbacks- not just startups.
Wednesday’s SpaceX launch demonstrated just that. After many years, America was once again traveling to the ISS on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon- a historic departure as NASA astronauts were once again going to launch from American soil instead of having the purchase a seat from a Russian rocket. The rocket itself is built by a commercial company, the first of many of its kind. However, the launch was aborted at the last minute by the weather. Not by human error, mechanical breakdowns or electronic glitches- it was the weather!
It should be plain to point out the feeling of disappointment from the setback for SpaceX, NASA and CEO Elon Musk, much less for all the millions of excited viewers worldwide tuning into watch the launch itself. The combined team will be trying again on Saturday, May 30, 2020- weather permitting of course.
The underlying fact is that this setback was unavoidable. Imagine the feelings all the teams must feel, that despite Covid-19, the incalculable near-death experiences that SpaceX has underwent, what was supposed to be their crowning achievement was delayed by the weather. Yes- it is just a minor delay but still does not stop the feeling of disappointment everyone must be feeling.
As an entrepreneur, failure, disappointments and setbacks must never become ugly words. There will be setbacks that occur from your own errors and others, like the weather, that are unavoidable. It is just part of the journey and you must keep on going pushing.