If only more entrepreneurs failed as gracefully as Alex Tew

There's been a great deal of debate on tech blog TechCrunch Europe about the demise of PopJam, the humour site built by he of the MillionDollarHomepage, Alex Tew.

Although PopJam gained angel investment 'in the low six figures' and a experienced brief period of hype on social media sites, it has closed after just a few months, having failed to make much in the way of waves among the general public.

In the TechCrunch post, Tew is quoted cheerfully blaming a lack of integration with Facebook and Twitter, before pointing out he has another project in the pipeline. He seems positive, though: ah well, he shrugs. Maybe next time.

TechCrunch's readers, though, are less optimistic. "Do you have any idea* how much six figures buys in the right hands?" gasps one reader. "Many business owners get three figures and they start successful businesses."

Yes, ok - we get that at the moment, getting hold of any money at all is nigh on impossible, so the idea of flushing a six-figure sum down the toilet - however low in the six figures that sum might be - seems a bit obscene.

But Tew is young. In entrepreneur developmental terms, he's still a child - and as such, it's great to see someone be allowed to exercise their creativity by, well, having a bit of a play.

If more entrepreneurs were given free rein to experiment - with new business ideas, with new models - the UK's tech scene might be considerably more lively. Heck, it could even be a bit more like that Narnia its participants speak of so frequently: Silicon Valley, where investors see failure not as some damning testament to an entrepreneur's incompetence, but as life experience.

Tew hasn't let this setback stop him, and Smarta, for one, is deeply impressed.

We'll leave the final word, though, to entrepreneur and PopJam investor Michael Smith, who posted the following on TechCrunch:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

That, we think, says it all.

*Italics inserted by us. Well, honestly.

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