Rethink Failure — Entrepreneur Takeaways

Before we were Cut The Small Talk and FuckUp Nights, we were Rethink Failure — our goal was to challenge the definitions of failure and success, to teach people not just not to launch but also how to land softly.
Our first event was on Dec 18th… part Christmas party, part panel on the topics of success and failure.
We invite 4 speakers — the provoking thoughts and advice they shared on life, business decisions, and teams are below! Thank you to Fannie Kue (, Eric Meyer (Apvera), Lars Voedisch (PRecious Comms), Leslie Loh (Tien Academy).

We’ve got 120 photos of 100 beautiful people! Tag yourselves.
Yes, takeaways at the bottom.
What’s something you’re celebrating today — or something you can think about in a different way and then celebrate?
Happy holidays and welcome 2015!
Kyaw & Bryan (Eventnook), Son (Startup Grind), Angela (Rethink Failure)
You already know them well, from their experiences and most gruesome moments, to what excites them or makes them laugh. I think the takeaways below speakers well for them!
From left to right in the attached image:
Fannie Kue (, Eric Meyer (Apvera), Lars Voedisch (PRecious Comms), Leslie Loh (Tien Academy).
They’re cc’d if you’d like to connect directly.
Feel free to share these points!
On life, success, and failure…
— be a life long learner — see yourself as if you were a book or a subject and learn from what you do (Leslie)
— Reflect and celebrate. Set your intention for the next year. (Fannie)
— what we all tend to miss is reflection. Commit time to reflect
— all of the celebrations at the panels were moments where we learned from failure
— true failure is only when you’ve decided not to pick up and learn from what happened in bad decisions (Eric)
— be confident in your gut (Lars)
On you, the entrepreneur…
— balance between an investor and entrepreneur, optimist and rational pessimist (Leslie)
— dare to say no, dare to quit — quitting is like starting something new (Fannie)
— pick your battles (Lars)
— being an entrepreneur gives you flexible time — not less working hours (Eric)
On teams…
— hiring is the most important. Do they flow with the team? This is more important than testing skills — they should have the skills, or learn, if they are applying. Get rid of the bad apples fast — they cost more in the long run. (Lars & Eric)
— have open conversations about uncomfortable things as soon as possible — don’t avoid it or hope it’ll go away (Eric)
— watch out for conflict that attacks people, and vague agreement that hides true opinions (Fannie)
On business decisions…
— know who you are NOT for. The red flag for a bad business is one that wants to be for everyone (Leslie)
— entrepreneurship is like gambling — how do you know when to quit? when you’re winning or losing? follow what feels right (Eric)
— if you’ve failed on your objectives, review what happened, what was expected, your objectives, and why those objectives were picked — what made them significant? (Eric)
— cheap means you will compete on price. Is that where you want to be? Maybe yes, maybe no. Price signifies value and quality. (Lars)
— if lifetime value is less than cost for a customer, get out of the business (Leslie)
–> The organisers: Kyaw, Son, Bryan, Angela (me)
–> Those who jumped in to help us greet, set up, clean up 100s of cups: Aishy, Kaixin, Eugene, Jian Liang — shoutout to Orange Hive,Reactor, and SlideComet!
–> YOU! Thank you for listening opening, closing your eyes, asking questions, meeting like-minds, and taking time to celebrate.
And to the people who make all of this space, food, and people possible:
TIEN Academy provides training in the areas of Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship for aspiring entrepreneurs and start-up founders throughout Southeast Asia.
If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, why not join us at our upcoming Startup Bootcamp from 8 Jan to 14 Feb 2015? Enrolment is underway and we are seeking entrepreneurs with great ideas!
If you wish to find out more, visit We also regularly organise Lean Canvas workshops (it’s free!) where participants learn a powerful tool to articulate their ideas in a structured manner and start testing their assumptions. Sign up!
Wirezy is a solid development partner & developer hiring hub in Vietnam with years of experience in startups, and a Founder Institute’s primary outsourcing partner. Beside being an outsourcing partner, providing dedicated developers, Wirezy also provides management service from which can help you hire/management talented developer directly to your own team, keep watching them for best productivity for you.  You can check us out at is updated daily with jobs in booming start-ups. See what gets you out of bed! The 2015 Join Startupz! Job Fair is coming up — find out more by subscribing on the front page!
Thank you to Kristine Lauria for advising Rethink Failure and supporting our event in multiple ways! As you know, she’s now rocking it at eLance.
Elance: Hire great freelancers — design, development, personal assistants:
TheList.Sg: Hand-picked thought-provoking entrepreunerial events in SG:
Happy holidays!
Kyaw , Son, Bryan, Angela


Angela OgnevRethink Failure — Entrepreneur Takeaways
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