By Jane Porter

“Not long after Steve Blank‘s videogame company Rocket Science Games lost $35 million for its investors, his wife noticed he was acting a little strange.

“I was coming home and going to bed at four in the afternoon,” he says. The year was 1996. At the time, Blank, now the mastermind behind the Lean Startup Movement, was devastated. His company had been on the cover of Wired and the press had called him and his team “the first digital super group.” People believed Rocket Science would be responsible for revolutionizing the video game industry.

But the revolution never came. Rocket Science turned out to be a spectacular failure. When Blank’s investors dropped the company, he went through what he likes to call “the six stages of failure and redemption”–shock and surprise, denial, anger and blame, depression, acceptance, and last but not least–insight and change.

We were one of the hottest companies in Silicon Valley. To have our customers tell us our games sucked–I couldn’t believe it,” says Blank. “When the company was finally shut down and all the rubble stopped bouncing, I started thinking about what I could have done and why I didn’t do it.”

Accepting his failure took well over a year. Six months later, he heard from the VCs who’d pulled their funding out of the business. They wanted him to evaluate their portfolio. Seriously? Blank was in awe that they’d make such a request.

The company had failed, they told him, but they still thought he was a smart business guy. Not long after, Blank went on to found E.piphany, which developed customer relationships development software and earned its investors $1 billion a piece in returns.

Here are six lessons Blank learned from his first failure that helped him succeed the second time around:


Your business is about much more than you let on in your marketing spiel. Blank got swept up in all the press and positive attention his business was getting, letting practical matters like whether or not they were actually able to monetize their ideas slip through the cracks.

‘”If you can’t differentiate your press from bullshit, your tenure as the founder and CEO is short,” says Blank. Focus on the cold hard numbers–“not the echo-chamber of press and PR most founders live in,” he says.


When Blank realized his core customer base was 14-year-old boys, he couldn’t help but feel put-off. He wanted to build video games with complex and compelling storylines, but his customers were more interested in killing stuff.

“You can’t blame your customers for who they are,” he says. Still, he couldn’t help resenting them. Once you disconnect yourself from customer needs and desires, unless you get really lucky, says Blank, you’re in trouble. “If you find yourself hating your customers, you should shut down your company.”


Founding a company and developing an innovative idea means you’re taking a risk. It requires a healthy ego and some hubris. But there’s a thin line between having the confidence to know what you need to do and feeling like you don’t need to listen to anyone but yourself.

Blank didn’t have an advisory board of people who were guiding him when he started Rocket Science. “I would have been better helped by having people in the domain I trusted who could say, ‘Steve, you should understand what you are about to do here,'” he says.


Rocket Science developed four different games from the get-go. Feeling the pressure of shipping them out in time for Christmas, rather than testing one game with customers and figuring out how to make it better, they went in full force.

Blank’s lean startup model comes out of his realization that ideas need to be tested and iterated before you get too deep into developing them. Users hated the first two games Rocket Science made, but it still pressed on and made two more. “That was a pretty big wakeup call,” says Blank.


Entrepreneurs need to be able to convince investors, customers, and potential employees that they are worth taking a chance on. That’s a key requirement if you want to scale your startup. Believing in your goals and future plan is important, but don’t ever let the risk involved escape you.

“You should lose sleep over what you are saying, not feel smug and satisfied,” says Blank. “At Rocket Science, I believed every word I said.”


Blank often let his board call the shots. Even when he didn’t agree with them, he would relent to a decision they made because they were the ones with the money. But often that meant going against what he felt was best for the business.

Having advisors outside of his board would have helped him better weigh his options. “I wish I would have had some great advisors who would have slapped me silly,” he says. “If you don’t stand up for what you believe is right, then you don’t deserve to be the founding CEO.”

By Jane Porter

We are happy to announce that our company has been short-listed in the category: Interpreting -UK by Finance Monthly. We were informed that one of our corporate clients – Law Firm – made an application.

We are honoured and grateful that our daily work has been appreciated in such a lovely way.

Thank you,

Traductio Team law-awards-2014

Traductio for Law Firms

Our company cooperates with British Family Law companies and Cafcass offices on a regular basis, furnishing linguistic assistance in any situation involving Law.

In an answer to the specific needs of the UK’s legal companies, Traductio provides interpretation services in courts, at police stations, and prisons.

We provide high quality translation and interpreting services in all languages; privately and at legal aid rates (LAA).

Our work for Law Firms includes regular consecutive interpreting in Courts and at medical commissions for Law Firms (ie. International Family Law Group, Saunders Law, MW Solicitors, Debenhams Ottaway LLP, Moore Blatch Resolve LLP, Grazing Hill Law Partners and many others)

Traductio has provided services for a number of important business, culture and media conferences, including simultaneous and consecutive interpretation at the EURO 2012 Conference in Cardiff. We provided interpretation at conferences and high-profile meetings for organisations such as the Mayor of London, London Fire Brigade, Polish Ministry of Justice, the Polish Ministry of Sport, the Polish Ministry of Finance, Lidl, Gerda, investment and retail banks, Aiport ID Centres and other leading institutions.

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Traductio has provided simultaneous interpreting and business interpreting for government representatives in London.

Our work includes simultaneous and consecutive interpreting for:

Polish Embassy in London

The Polish Ministry of Health

The Polish Ministry of Economy

The Polish Government

Polish Cultural Institute in London

and many others

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At Traductio we offer both certified and sworn translations of all types of British and all language documents.

We are a Full Member of Association of Translation Companies and we are authorised to provide certified translations in all languages.

We also undertake specialist translation projects for our individual clients, including translations of books, articles, manuals, and construction plans.

Traductio also offers assistance at Registry Offices, doctors surgeries and hospitals, in courts, and at police stations and probation centres. At Traductio we assure high quality of this service as well as confidentiality and punctuality of our interpreters.