On April 16 2013, FailCon Zurich brought together some of Switzerland’s leading technology entrepreneurs, investors, developers and designers to study the lessons they have learned from failure. This dialogue will provide inspiration and useful information to ensure that the goals of success can be further pursued by all attendees.
There’s an old adage that says the only things that are sure in life are death and taxes, which seems particularly true in Switzerland. We’d like to add a third though: If you don’t try you can’t win. The hockey great Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” This holds as true in life and business as it does in sport.
Great leaps in science, technology, business, and society have occurred when people dared to try something new — to take that shot. The most successful experienced feelings of failure and saw attempts at the realization of their goals thwarted. Success cannot exist without failure and those who have never lived through at least one failed attempt cannot experience the highs of true success. Like Edison striving to create the electric lightbulb – each unsuccessful result eliminates a potential option for the expected result and brings us one step closer to that which we hope to create and sometimes even gives us something quite unexpected and worth infinitely more. The only real failures in life are the chances that are not taken because of fear.
FailCon was started in 2009 by Cass Phillipps, an event planner for startup events and Diane Loviglio, founder of a cleantech startup. After attending numerous events for the technology industry, they began 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. They wanted to change the dialogue, to work with the community and, together, learn from each other about the path to success. The first event launched with over 400 attendees, and FailCon has continued to grow since then.
Failcon Switzerland is organized by a, not for profit Verein led by:
David Butler is a serial networker and social media aficionado. Both David’s strong social presence and his love of testing beta versions of new products coming from Zurich’s many startups have made him a sought after consultant in many industries.
Having worked on social and humanitarian projects for over 15 years in more than half a dozen countries, on four continents, David has acquired a first-hand understanding of global issues and the importance of human interaction. These experiences have given him a wealth of knowledge and insights that allow him to bring a global perspective to the vision and initiatives of the companies and individuals he consults.
In his personal life, David is a family man, snowboarder, and shutterbug.
Agustin sees lives and breathes “the big picture” strategy, entrepreneurship, business models and micro/macro-economics. Additionally, he is a serial business founder, technology professional focusing on corporate IT and dabbles in organisational management. A resident of Zurich for 17 years, he is happy to be engaged in projects that continue to challenge, educate, and inspire… through failures and successes.
A passion for Instagram & Podcasts and a desire to spend more time with his family here in Zurich.
With an interest in and understanding of both business and technology, he is proficient in connecting these two worlds. His educational background is in business (with an M.A. in Strategy and an MBA) but he has always been fascinated with the web and technology in general. Driven to continuously educate himself and learn the inner workings of the web.
In 2010 – still, during his studies in Singapore – he founded the startup connex.io. The product aggregated all of a person’s contacts across emails, phone and social networks and created one unified address book. Unfortunately, connex.io failed.