In the start up world articles that talk about failure are very inspiring. It is very hard to admit that you failed and move on. On hackernews, these post almost always make it to the front page. There are a lot of praises in the comments section and people thank the poster for being so courageous. But how useful are those articles?
Here is the usual pattern:
I have been working non-stop on my project for many years and it is time to let go. My project never picked up and I could not retain the few customers that I had. However during those years I have learned so much, and I will apply this knowledge in my next project.
This is over generalization of the posts I read, but it captures the main message. "I have learned so much", sometimes it is followed with the reason why the project failed.
I am sure these people have truly learned from their failure and our going to have better chances next time. But here is what i do when i see these type of articles: I try to learn from their failure. The problem with that is, you cannot learn from someone else mistake.
We don't learn from history, we repeat it.
If we could learn from others mistake, we could simply buy into the Teach yourself X in 21 days series.