Failure: a necessary evil for success?


Friday, April 7, 2017
All entrepreneurs will tell you: in business, you need to persevere. It’s rare that the first draft of a business plan results in a successful business. Before getting there, the plan needs to be readjusted, adapted, even revamped totally… Three Québec entrepreneurs share with us how they didn’t let themselves be paralyzed by the fear of failure.

Presented byNational Bank Logo

Strive for Higher Highs and Lower Lows

Today, she works in a leading position at Crew, but Stephanie Liverani and her husband Mikael Cho also had their challenges when they started out as entrepreneurs. Accepted into the 2012 cohort of the accelerator FounderFuel, they struggled to come out with a potentially viable project: a platform for app developers similar to Kickstarter, called Ooomf.

Coworking desks at Crew Collective Cafe

“I’m a trained actuary and Mikael is an American who studied psychology: we knew nothing about how to start a company or about the field of technology in Montreal,” recalls Stephanie Liverani. The platform wasn’t as successful as they had hoped. “We fought hard to keep going and we motivated ourselves by repeating, “you just need to be right once.”

In 2013, the couple made one last move to avoid sinking: change directions completely and connect web developers and designers of only the highest quality.

Waiters preparing drinks at the Crew Collective Cafe bar

Since then, the company (now called Crew) is astonishingly successful. After two series of funding campaigns that collected over 10 million dollars, Crew opened the Crew Café and Collective last spring in a breathtaking building in Old Montreal.

But their rapid growth came with its fair share of setbacks too. After having raised so much money, the cofounders felt pressured to recruit personnel quickly and conform to the classic successful start-up model. “In just a few months, we went from 8 to 22 employees. I grossly underestimated the structure that needed to be in place in order to manage all that progress,” admits the Head of Operations for Crew. Nonetheless, she feels that she learned that she must better target her hires.

Couches at Crew Collective Cafe

Interested in reading the testimonials by the two other entrepreneurs?

Read the complete article on the website of the National Bank