We Need an “NTSB” for Entrepreneurship


Every time an airplane crashes or even has an incident in the US, the NTSB does a thorough investigation of what lead to the crash. The investigations don’t just focus on the plane itself, but also the flight crew, ground crew, air traffic control and much more. The findings of these investigations are detailed and insightful. The conclusions of that investigation are then used to improve designs, polices, procedures, etc. As a result, air travel is one of the safest forms of travel, safer than driving, riding a bicycle, safer, in fact, than walking down the street.

I’ve been advocating for a while, that we create some sort of “NTSB for entrepreneurship”. Historically, we do a great deal of research on successful entrepreneurial ventures and almost none on all but the most egregious failures. Doing case studies on successes is, I think, not very instructive. It’d be like doing an after action report on a successful flight from BOS to SFO. But if something fails, wouldn’t it be interesting to do a deep dive into what when wrong and why? It’s in all of our common interest to learn from our failures. One startup failing takes with it so much learning potential. I think we can learn more from a bunch of failures than from all of the successes combined.

What do you think, is this possible?