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Startups can't afford a cover-up culture  

Following on last week's point about not drinking your own kool-aid, here's an article by Steve Blank about the dangers of a cover-up culture in startups:

[My investors] reminded me that failures in startups tell the founders which direction not to pursue - while teaching you how to succeed. This means covering up failure in a startup [is] like tossing their money in the street. So instead of a cover-up culture they encouraged a "Lessons Learned culture."

A key element of a "Lessons Learned" culture is rapid dissemination of information. All information, whether good or bad, must be shared rapidly. We taught our company that understanding sales losses were more important than understanding sales wins; understanding why a competitor's products were better was more important than rationalizing ways in which ours were superior.

More from the library:
Picking technologies on the right side of history
When do you throw in the towel on a struggling project?
Let the acquirer name a price