[Part 1] How can learning from business failures help us compete creatively?

"Even negative results provide us a chance to apply correctives, and in that way, help us improve our future behaviour." (Prof. Dietrich Dörner, 1989)

[Part 1] How can learning from business failures help us compete creatively?


Last Friday night, I was invited by BAC Education to conduct a webinar on their Project Entrepreneur program, a great initiative to educate 10,000 entrepreneurs.

I had the honour to kick-start the course for 2021 with "how can learning from business failures help us compete creatively?"

Did you know that 'success + failure' learning = competitive insights?

"What is of greatest interest to us is not success or failure but the results, the characteristics of thought, decision making, planning, & hypothesizing." (Professor Dietrich Dörner, 1989)

In the presentation deck, I emphasized the importance of learning what-not-to-do from failed case studies, alongside learning what-to-do from successful case studies and best practices. I also shared how (success + failure) learning of our competitive landscape will strengthen our Competitive Differentiation against our competitors.

*Disclaimer: Numerous excerpts were paraphrased from the books and articles as cited below in my presentation deck for your further reading.


Paul Lee, Co-founder & CEO, Flipidea

Citation and republishing

Flipidea's articles and reports may be republished in accordance with our Citation Policy and Terms of Service.


Andreessen Horowitz. (n.d.). Passionate about the future of technology. Retrieved 11 March 2021, from https://a16z.com/

Bygrave, W. D., & Zacharakis, A. (2014). Entrepreneurship, 3rd Edition. Retrieved 10 March 2021, from https://www.oreilly.com/library/view/entrepreneurship-3rd-edition/9781118582893/

Carroccio, B., & Chen, A. (2020). The a16z Marketplace 100. Retrieved 11 March 2021, from https://a16z.com/2020/02/18/marketplace-100/

Chen, J. (2017). The New Moats. Retrieved 10 March 2021, from https://news.greylock.com/the-new-moats-53f61aeac2d9

Dayangku, S. (2020). Despite RM10mil In Funding, Here's The Real Reason Why Offpeak Shut Down After 5 Years. Retrieved 11 March 2021, from https://vulcanpost.com/696046/offpeak-malaysia-food-discount-platform-shut-down-update/

Flipidea. (n.d.). Discover insights from business failures. Retrieved 11 March 2021, from https://www.flipidea.co/

Flipidea. (n.d.). Brandless. Retrieved 11 March 2021, from https://www.flipidea.co/companydetail/5e425428a7c22b37bc331f87

Flipidea. (n.d.). Descriptive Analysis. Retrieved 11 March 2021, from https://www.flipidea.co/descriptive-analysis

Flipidea. (n.d.). Idea Validation. Retrieved 11 March 2021, from https://www.flipidea.co/idea-validation

Flipidea. (n.d.). Offpeak. Retrieved 11 March 2021, from https://www.flipidea.co/companydetail/5eaa67a8d168d61a5839e4d3

Flipidea. (n.d.). ShenqiBuy. Retrieved 11 March 2021, from https://www.flipidea.co/companydetail/5bdc00c680b84512b331dfb0

Flipidea Viewpoints. (2019). What is your definition of business failure? Retrieved 10 March 2021, from https://viewpoints.flipidea.co/what-is-your-definition-of-business-failure/

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. (n.d.). Global Reports. Retrieved 10 March 2021, from https://www.gemconsortium.org/report

Lee, P. (2020). How learning from business failures can help us innovate better? Retrieved 11 March 2021, from https://viewpoints.flipidea.co/understanding-business-failures-how-can-we-innovate-better/

Lee, P. (2020). How to validate your intuitive business idea with GV's Research Sprint? Retrieved 11 March 2021, from https://viewpoints.flipidea.co/how-to-re-search-for-business-opportunities/

Lee, P. (2020). Startup VC Funding Metrics & Benchmarks. Retrieved 11 March 2021, from https://viewpoints.flipidea.co/startup-vc-funding-guide/

Link, J. (2020). What is the 'Jobs to be Done' framework and why is it so popular? Retrieved 10 March 2021, from https://builtin.com/product/jobs-to-be-done-framework

Mason, M. K. (2012). Worldwide Business Start-ups. Retrieved 10 March 2021, from http://www.moyak.com/papers/business-startups-entrepreneurs.html

MindTools. (n.d.). Competitive Intelligence: Understanding Your Competitive Position. Retrieved 10 March 2021, from https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newSTR_60.htm

Nasser, S. (2018). Roadmap to a SaaS IPO: how to unicorn your way to $100M revenue. Retrieved 11 March 2021, from https://medium.com/parisoma-blog/roadmap-to-a-saas-ipo-unicorning-your-way-to-100m-revenue-33e065ce7548

Nobel, C. (2011). Why Companies Fail - and How Their Founders Can Bounce Back. Retrieved 10 March 2021, from https://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/why-companies-failand-how-their-founders-can-bounce-back

O'Reilly. (n.d.). Competitive Differentiation Analysis. Retrieved 10 March 2021, from https://www.oreilly.com/library/view/the-new-power/9781118240946/xhtml/sec58.html

Sparks, A. (2019). Understanding Venture Capital. Holloway Guide To Raising Venture Capital. Retrieved 10 March 2021, from https://www.holloway.com/g/venture-capital/sections/understanding-venture-capital

Turck, M. (2020). Resilience and Vibrancy: The 2020 Data & AI Landscape. Retrieved 11 March 2021, from https://mattturck.com/data2020/

Wang, H. Z. (2016). The rise and fall of ShengqiBuy, an 18-year-old's million-dollar startup. Retrieved from 10 March 2021, from https://alltechasia.com/youthful-exuberance-the-rise-and-fall-of-shenqibuy-an-18-year-olds-million-dollar-startup/

Wiles, J. (2020). CFOs Need to Shift Thinking and Fund Competitive Differentiation. Retrieved 10 March 2021, from https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/cfos-need-to-shift-thinking-and-fund-competitive-differentiation/

By invitation, Paul occasionally conducts guest lectures and seminars on the topics of business management, tech innovation, startups, entrepreneurship, venture capital, and financial investment.

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Last edited on 8 July 2021.