Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

June 30, 2018

Poem by Dylan Thomas | Post Author: Umakant

This poem is deeply integrated into my optimism. It rages me every time I am about to wave that white flag. To that darkness, I am about to surrender. To that mistake, I am about to bow down. We shouldn’t give up. We shouldn’t surrender even when we have no chance of winning. Clearly when we have no chance of winning. We shouldn’t give the demon that sense of destruction.

In startup life, these lines fill you with the sense of purpose. As one entrepreneur writes about his failed startup, the humble startup. Like a star, it is born with an explosion of ideas. Its founders driven, enthusiastic and committed to conquering the world. The startup that held the aspirations of its founders, investors, and the community from which it emerged. The startup, that so consumed us it acquired a life of its own and became almost human. And then like all things human, death came. Startups burst violently onto the scene, their activities typically focussed on disrupting the status quo. The limited resources available to most startups means that they live or die very quickly. They have only a limited time-frame within which to prove their value and acquire customers, who can fund the next stage of their growth, and survival.

There are many reasons that companies fail, even when the idea seems sounds. For some the product or service does not address a sufficiently significant problem, for others, they address the wrong market and on occasion, the market is simply not ready. Sometimes, however, it is just an idea in the wrong place, at the wrong time, in the wrong context. In the same way that luck plays its role in the success of a startup so too does luck, of the less favorable kind, play its role in a startup dying.

There is no shame in failing. Indeed the death of a business is not, as many would suggest, a failure. But we shouldn’t give up until the end. We should rage, rage against that darkness. Because it’s not the end until it ends.


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