There is a strong survivor bias in studies of innovation and entrepreneurship–both in the academic literature and in the stories of practicing professionals. We tend to study the winners, the companies that made it out of the garage and onto NASDAQ. They’re easier to find. Even the losers we study tend to have survived long enough to be noticed, which by itself makes them more successful than most new ventures.
When you’re business is investing in new ventures–in picking winners–there is some value in studying how you’ve done that well. There is likely more value in studying what you did wrong. Bessemer Venture Partners has a pretty unique site describing the companies that they did not invest in: they call it their Anti-Portfolio. Every VC firm has such a history–few would acknowledge them publicly.