fail ventures is a unique venture studio
and we invest in ideas so stupid they might just work
Founded 2008, we have created 74 new ventures from scratch.
68 have failed and 6 have succeeded creating over US$500M+ of profitable sales.
In 2020 alone we distributed over US$15M of cash to our shareholders.
The 6 successful business have 85 full time employees around the world and employ thousands through their supply chains and pay millions of dollars of tax each year.
William Wolfram started his first business at the age of 13 selling custom built computers to friends and family, later dropping out of school at 15 to run his businesses full time. Since then, he has founded several profitable businesses and has profitably sold more than half a billion US dollars of stuff online. William is CEO at fail ventures, and Chairman at Trifecta Retail Ventures, DealDash and Galton Voysey.
Katerina Yip has built and launched multiple businesses with varying success - with one in particular going on to become a multi-million dollar brand. Katerina has a law degree from the University of Durham, which comes in handy from time to time.
Ringo wong leads at the helm of a profitable brand that generates millions of US dollars a year, and is Head of E-Commerce at Galton Voysey. Ringo has founded multiple brands and has a track record of transforming and scaling brands into multi-million dollar businesses. Ringo has a degree in Math and Economics from UCLA.
Lari Häkkinen is a prolific business founder, having co-founded multiple extraordinally successful businesses. Amongst other responsibilites, Lari heads up a multi-million dollar brand and is on the board of DealDash, Galton Voysey and Trifecta Retail Ventures, all of which he co-founded.
denise’s adventure with building businesses began at age 15, when Disney sponsored a charity project she created from scratch. since then, she’s worked as a software engineer in shanghai, set up one of the first student run VC funds in the UK with £6M AUM, and built a failed startup that was almost accepted into YC (it’s a long story). denise has a law degree from Oxford.
shubham jalan is a serial venture builder who has a deep hunger for knowledge. he is passionate about learning, growing and gaining experience; shubham has founded and built a number of ventures - including water2doorstep - all while while completing his bachelor of engineering at hkust in hong kong.
Why are we called fail ventures?
Because we embrace failure. We encourage entrepreneurial risk taking and intentionally pursue ideas and ventures that have a high likelihood of failing, otherwise others would have probably already done them. We get better with each new venture we build and learn from each instance. The goal is not to eliminate failure, but to increase our velocity and build more successful new businesses.
What kind of ventures do we focus on?
Anything that makes sense. But we have a particular love affair with speed. We emphasize maximizing learning so we love doing ventures that are quick to launch and know whether they are succeeding or failing, you simply learn more with more iterations.
How do we fail?
We’re on a mission to normalize failure as a healthy part of learning, development and growth. We believe in getting into the arena, failing while daring greatly and picking yourself back up to try it all over again with enthusiasm. When we fail, we fail with absolute honesty and grace. Though we have no qualms with those who need to do so, it is not our operating model to ever use bankruptcy provisions or laws when we fail.
In fact we only use our own equity for building new ventures. We don’t want to raise equity from others for individual ventures and we certainly don’t use debt. Every single employee and creditor has always been paid on time since William started his first business at age 13, and he is proud of the track record and has a moral imperative to maintain that record. Earlier in his career, William raised some equity from outside investors and all investors have made multiple times their money back, something that he takes great pride in. Several years ago William made the decision to not raise any external equity going forwards - we believe operating with our own equity gives us the freedom and flexibility to move fast and fail often.
What is the culture like?
Our team members can be identified by their healthy amounts of intensity, enthusiasm and humility; we are unashamed to be our own biggest fans and the biggest fans of those we work with. We work fast, we work hard and we demand the best from ourselves and from others. We engage in constant debate and self-reflection - some professional and some personal. At our core, we’re a group of people fundamentally obsessed with trying to grow our wealth and ourselves alongside people we value, respect and trust. We respect success and expect others to do so too. If this all sounds appealing to you, you’ll be in good company.
How to Apply to the World's Most Exclusive Venture Builder
Our acceptance rate is 0.05% and successful applicants typically attend at least 5 to 7 interviews before hire. Our cheat sheet below will give you some guidance about what to expect.
All accepted applications start the interview process with a quick 15-minute video call with one of our team members.
15 Min Video Call
All accepted applicants will be invited to a 15 minute video call with one of our team members as the first stage.
Most successful applicants usually attend 5 to 7 interviews. Review the cheat sheet below, be prepared, and make sure to ask us questions! This is about finding a great fit for us and for you.
If we mutually think that there's a good fit, we'll officially invite you to join the team!
Traits we look for
- Energy and enthusiasm
- Speed of execution (do it today, not tomorrow)
- Ability to change their mind when facts change
- Agility when plans change at the last minute
- Self-reflection and the desire to improve
- Total ownership over everything you do
- Incredibly smart
How do we assess you?
- Are you curious about the world?
- Do you show an interest in us by asking questions that are specific to us and what we do?
- Do you share our holy reverence for success?
- When you make a mistake, can you laugh at yourself and embrace it?
- How do you disagree? Can you engage in heated debate or do you prefer to remove yourself from the situation?
- Are you reflective and self-aware of your own strengths and weaknesses?
- Do you have a love affair with speed? We think in timeframes of days, not weeks or months!
- Are you eager to learn?
- Can you be vulnerable with us and laugh about the silly things we all do together? Vulnerability is one of the most powerful things we have in our toolbox to be able to grow.
Who should not apply?
- Training or formalized development
- A predictable career path
- A conflict-free environment
- Predictable hours or a predictable schedule
What you can expect
- Hands off autonomy
- Access to capital
- Opportunities to start businesses from scratch over and over again
- Big but rewarding challenges
- Really attractive compensation
What you will learn
- Useful tricks to increasing your innovation and creativity
- How to become desensitized to launching and failing over and over again and yet being as excited and passionate as ever in the next thing you are building
- Accounting basics
- Hiring basics
- E-commerce basics
- Tax basics
- Legal basics
- Management basics
- Marketing basics
- Economics basics
- Contract manufacturing basics
What happens after?
After that you may decide to go and run one of the ventures you’ve built as CEO and scale it as an independent company, or perhaps you will want to continue building new ventures.
Maybe you’ll go on to lead your own new ventures team. Or perhaps you want to branch out on your own as an entrepreneur - in that case we will be sad to see you leave but hope you will let us be your first investor!
15th Floor, Connaught Marina, 48 Connaught Road West, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong