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
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.