Failure is something we all face, and something most people actively try to avoid. But for entrepreneurs, failure is a valuable – even necessary – part of growing a business. Failure makes innovation possible, and it’s what makes success taste so sweet.

This weekend, I’m excited to talk about one of the most important failures in 352 history at FailCon Atlanta. FailCon makes a celebration of failure, inviting company founders to talk about the failures they’ve faced and how they each recovered to create something bigger and better.

For me, Camp Pete was the watershed moment that began our transition into a stronger company.

See ya later.
See ya later.

I’ve talked about our failed launch of Camp Pete before, but it was an invaluable lesson for me and for 352. If you have kids, you may be familiar with interactive online children’s games like Club Penguin or Webkins. About 5 years ago, my wife and I noticed that there was no sports-themed online game, so we created a detailed concept for an online game called Camp Pete, sponsored by current Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.

There were some obstacles to our success – including the incredibly detailed specs sheet we created – but the only reason the project failed was because our old waterfall development methodology did not allow us to break the work into small segments to get Camp Pete to market quickly and then iterate with new features.

Even though the game was an incredible product, other companies beat us to market, and Camp Pete never got off the ground.

As much as it stung to be beaten to the punch, our failure with Camp Pete was the first step we took toward our transition to agile development and, ultimately, a new 352 Inc.

At FailCon, I’ll be sharing how our missteps with Camp Pete led me to create The Circle Strategy, which outlines how we utilize teams to create client projects quickly so that they never have to face the challenges we did with Camp Pete.

Don’t listen to anyone who says that failure is not an option. Failure can be difficult to overcome, but it can also provide rich soil for new ideas to take root and flourish. Embrace failure, and you’ll find success.

Image credit: Carsten Tolkmit, Creative Commons


Geoff is a true entrepreneur. He’s passionate about helping companies find, build and grow their next big idea. He launched his first venture at age 16, when he started a computer store in a shopping mall in Sarasota, Florida. Since then, he’s built eight more companies.