Everyone admires serial entrepreneurs for their pluck and persistence, but they pose a big risk for the investors who fund their dreams. Our research shows that instead of learning from mistakes, serial entrepreneurs are just as apt to be overoptimistic after failure as before.
While I'm not sure I agree with everything these authors are writing (but hey, I'm biased...), I recognize a trait that serial entrereneurs have: what else that overoptimism can drive serial entrepreneurs?
Something I've realized several times is that many of my friends capitalized on their successes by moving from one job to another in a similar field (think successful banker in firm A moves to firm B to start similar practice or successful CFO in company C is recruited to undertake the same cost cutting / restructuring for company D).
Don't take me wrong: I feel like I learned a lot from my first startup, probably even more from my second (which failed and led to our pivot) and now still every day.
I also became "bankable" from having a first success: I'm not naive about that. And I was able to raise money much more easily the second time than the first.
But this is experience building, network building and not what I mean by capitalizing on your success. Very little rules that were true in my first startup (a B2B digital music platform for Mobile Operators called Musiwave) still applied for Goojet - which was still mobile but B2C and in a post-telco-domination world where the App Store ruled. I also often feel that the only reason Scoop.it has known success so far is because we reinvented ourselves by learning many things (lean startup concepts, design, social engagement, communities...). In a way, it felt a lot like starting from scratch - which is also what makes it fun (I know, I'm a contrarian...).
By chosing a job which is about inventing new things, serial entrepreneurs also have to re-invent themselves. And yes, overoptism is highly recommended in that case.