‘The Other F Word’ author Mark Coopersmith on redefining failure

“In some parts of the world, if you fail, you say, ‘What did I learn from that?’ You pick yourself up, and you move ahead. In other parts of the world, failure becomes one of those life-defining moments. It fundamentally changes your trajectory.”

Mark Coopersmith has launched, built, and led high-growth organizations ranging from startups to global enterprises. Today, he’s an entrepreneur, educator, advisor to executives, and co-author of the acclaimed book, “The Other ‘F’ Word: How Smart Leaders, Teams, and Entrepreneurs Put Failure to Work.”

He’s also the current Author-in-Residence at the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, where he’s working to redefine how we view failure in the context of entrepreneurship at an international level.

“Let’s change the language [around failure],” says Coopersmith. “If we talk about [startups as] experiments, that changes the dynamic… Startups are real-time experiments, and experiments come with positive and negative outcomes.

Coopersmith’s goal is “to turn failure from this regret that we brush under the rug and into a resource — which it is.”

He recently sat down with Nicola Corzine, Executive Director of the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, to talk more about why failure is such an essential part of becoming a resilient and successful entrepreneur.



December 18, 2015