We have had a number of investments not work out this year. Or to be more direct, some of the businesses we invested in failed.

There is a lot of discussion around failure and startups these days. Fail fast. Failure is the way you get to success. Failure is a badge of honor that makes you more investable. All of these notions have some measure of traction in large well funded entrepreneurial communities like Silicon Valley or New York or Boston, but that is not the landscape of Montana.

Failure here means that the risk you took with your money, your friends and family’s money and perhaps, investor money, did not pan out. That you will now have to figure out what to do next in a place where jobs are not easy to find. Where going home for Thanksgiving Dinner might be more difficult than it has been in the past.

As professional investors, although we don’t like when it happens, we expect some degree of failure in our portfolio. It’s a risk we take every time we right a check. We do care whether you have done your best, communicated clearly, and managed the winding down of your business with maturity and attention to detail. Learn what you can from the experience and pay it forward into the next thing you do to make the world a better place.