Creating Genius Magazine Winter Issue - Page 14

* insight Letting it T go icket Cake was founded in 2011 by entrepreneurs Dylan Jorgensen, Jacqueline Jensen and Joe Henriod, who moved to Las Vegas in May 2012. Here they became one of the first startups to receive money from the Vegas Tech Fund, the local seed stage fund of the Las Vegas Downtown Project. By its close, in August 2014, the company had more than 320 event organizers who used TicketCake.com and processed $1.5 million in ticket sales. We met up with Dylan Jorgensen and Jacqueline Jensen to get their views on why the team’s biggest venture yet, came up short. CG: What went wrong? Can you point to a specific moment or thing as a cause? We worked really hard to get more done as individuals, but we weren’t building a system that could grow and scale without our continual support. In the end, that’s what hurt us. CG: What are the early symptoms of a failed startup? We could tell when our team wasn't ready to pivot again. We still had some money in the bank so it was possible but it just wasn't exciting anymore. Creating Genius Magazine | Page 14 CG: Looking back on everything, what would you have done differently? It never dawned on us that Ticket Cake didn't work. We thought we controlled the Ticket Cake universe. When Ticket Cake was still alive, we never considered what failure would have looked like. We got so wrapped up in our own success that we didn’t pay attention to all of the failures that were adding up. CG: Can we chalk this up as a learning experience and just move on? I suppose. Success and failure seem equally important on the surface, but it's really what you learn from each outcome that matters. It’s how you make adjustments to both hedge your bets and roll the dice faster going forward.  CG: Any advice for all those failed startups out there? We all know it’s not about the money. Startups are first and foremost about people.  Failed startups resemble failed relationships. They hurt in a lot of irrational ways – and that’s ok – just be ready for it.