In addition to everything else shared, I really appreciate what Tieshun has to say about failure and how it’s acceptable in this post.
My company ultimately didn’t succeed (we realized we needed to build a services business more than a technology business and that’s not what we set out to do), and that was entirely okay. Most YC companies fail and it’s baked into their business model — YC partners were even willing to fund my next business. This surprised me because school trained me to avoid failure at all costs — a single bad grade could tarnish my GPA permanently. The consensus goal was to get the right grades and internships to build a good resume, without any gaps that could tarnish the record.
Silicon Valley’s willingness to embrace failure is unintuitive but entirely logical. Startups aren’t like school because there’s no guaranteed playbook for starting a successful company — you need good execution but also experimentation and luck.