Our culture teaches entrepreneurs that the day they leave the company that they founded is the day they’ve failed. We’re trained to believe that a successful founder is a decisive, emotionless commander who takes charge, heeds the advice of few, never makes mistakes—and is carried out of his corner office in a casket. But is that really what entrepreneurial success looks like?
Ever since we started our first company Firefly, in January 1995, my co-founders and I have discussed how best to measure the elusive goal of “success” in the world of an entrepreneur. One idea that we often return to is the Parable of One Thousand Hats.