Own Your Failure
I recently watched on CNBC an extremely interesting interview with former EBay chief Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg, former CEO of Dreamworks Animation. Whitman and Katzenberg were the leaders of the short-form video streaming platform Quibi, which was launched in 2018. The interview focused on their recent decision to shut down the company, maximize the value of any remaining assets and return the money to investors.
The interview was impressive, as it struck me as one of the best examples I have seen of truly owning a business failure. They both came across as genuine, smart and talented executives who had tried something new and exciting but failed to deliver success. I suggest you watch the interview or read the transcript of it. I have extracted its key lessons to share here.
Own the failure. Both Whitman and Katzenberg took full ownership of the failure and did not blame others in their team. In fact, they complimented their teams and partners on the high quality of the video content produced for the platform. They also highlighted other aspects of the venture that they felt went well, such as the quality of the launch.