Cathy Brooks has spent her life saturated in media – from print to broadcast and on-line. A career communications strategist, she presently operates Other Than That, a firm offering advisory services to companies and individuals wishing to navigate the complexities of persuasive storytelling in business. A specialized firm, the services help guide storytelling and, more importantly, help bulletproof brands. Through workshops and advisory services Cathy helps individuals and companies identify their stories and ensure long-term brand stability. To slake her thirst for content creation, Cathy blogs for myriad sites and hosts The Conversation, a weekly, on-line program that focuses on how technology is changing our world. In previously lives Cathy ran business development for San Francisco-based start-up Seesmic, worked with global analyst firm Guidewire Group. She also headed the talent and booking departments at TechTV, curated content at LeWeb for several years and has held several executive positions with PR agencies.
Gina Bianchini is passionate about how people use social software to organize and experience their interests and passions online and in the real world. Bianchini was an early pioneer in social software, beginning work in this area in 2004 when she and Marc Andreessen co-founded Ning, the first and largest social platform for interests and passions online. She served as CEO of Ning from its inception to March of 2010, at which time Ning had 90 million monthly unique visitors, 46 million registered users, and 300,000 monthly active social networks across entertainment, politics, education, and interests. In December 2011, Glam Media, a premier brand advertising company, purchased Ning for $150M. Today Bianchini is the CEO and founder of Mightybell, a new social platform seeking to revolutionize how people create, organize and plan creative projects and communities with friends. Gina has been featured on Fortune Magazine’s “40 under 40,” Huffington Post’s 10 technology “Ultimate Game Changers,” and 7×7 magazine’s “Hot 20” list.
Stop being afraid of failure and start embracing it.
FailCon is a one-day conference for technology entrepreneurs, investors, developers and designers to study their own and others’ failures and prepare for success.
We all have founded, worked for or invested in startups that have failed. We’re smart, we keep up with the latest in technology trends, but sometimes just don’t go as planned. How can you predict what will work and what won’t? Well, you can’t.
But that doesn’t mean you should stop trying. It just means you should start exchanging stories of what didn’t work and how you pivoted, why you couldn’t raise money, what the wrong hires were like, and when you decided it was time to let go. Entrepreneurs need to hear that from each other: that it’s okay to fail, it doesn’t mean you’re worthless. You’re just like the rest of us, learning from our making mistakes and building something bigger next time.
FailCon was started in 2009 by Cass Phillipps, an event planner for startup events and Diane Loviglio, a founder of a cleantech startup.
We’d both produced or attended numerous events for the technology industry, but had begun to realize things were starting to get repetitive. Events put successful entrepreneurs on stage to talk about how they made their company great, something that’s near-impossible to replicate, and never about what they learned from mistakes along the way. In talking to other attendees, we saw this was a pretty universal opinion; and so we decided to work with the community and, together, make something stronger. Our first event launched with over 400 attendees, and we’ve continued to grow since then. We hope you’ll join us and add your unique story and experience to our own.
Failure is still a taboo topic all over the world, but we’re working to change that one city at a time. If you’re interested in hosting a FailCon in your city, email Cass.