Biz Stone

Wilson in Washington: Lessons Entrepreneurs can Learn from Twitter and Founder Biz Stone

The Clinton Global Initiative University focused on a series of plenary sessions and skill workshops to empower young leaders who are championing different social and entrepreneurship issues. Wilson Beh, an aspiring young entrepreneur from Malaysia who won an exchange scholarship programme by Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), ventured to Washington for this further studies and then got selected to attend the Clinton Global Initiative. Wilson Beh now writes for on his key lessons learnt for entrepreneurs. He recalls DAY 2 of the his participation at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Kathryn Schulz, author of Being Wrong, opened Saturday’s morning plenary session with a discussion on failure as both a necessary part of the entrepreneurial and design process, but also how initial failure can lead to future success. It was aptly titled as “The Wisdom of Failure: Building a Culture of Creative Problem Solving”.

My partner, Nasha and I found this topic very relevant as we live in “a punish-failure-society”, as how Kathry Schulz described and this culture has suppressed many innovative ideas to materialize. Failure is inevitable at times, and in order to succeed we need to have the audacity to go big and see failure as motivation. But the pertinent question is: how to do it?

Biz Stone, Co-Founder of Twitter, one of the panelists, sees failure as the way to find an answer. “The real world does have a marking scheme, you have to try, get closer and closer to what is good.” He further elaborated that leader should not be afraid to show failure, instead use mistake as a great opportunity to show charisma and character.

In order to succeed spectacularly, you need to be ready to fail spectacularly,” he said and adding that thinking of the worst possible outcome helps in tackling failure. In business, it is MVP – minimum viable product. The concept works the same in any decision making. Apart from that, arm yourself with the ability to say “HELP” at the same time believing in yourself even everyone tells you to stop and accuse you as “CRAZY”.

When you fail, face it honestly, listen to feedbacks and move on.”