I like the following line in “Love Minus Zero/No Limit,” by Bob Dylan.

She knows there’s no success like failure. And that failure’s no success at all.

Here’s a good look through the window of things going wrong or, at the very least, not as planned.  I happened upon it yesterday morning while drinking my coffee, absorbing the early-morning web on a sunny summer morning in Oregon. It’s called BabbleSoft looking for a new home.

I’m sure it was a hard decision to write about; but I’ll bet it was even an even harder one to make. Posting in entrepreMusings, Babblesoft co-founder Aruni Gunasegaram said she came to the decision during a beach vacation. It’s typical, isn’t it, how things like this percolate in the background and come out when there’s time to reflect? She writes:

Babble Soft, an idea that I started tinkering around with after my first baby was born in 2003 (our first beta web app release was in 2007 and iPhone app in 2009), has reached a point where my partner Nicole Johnson and I can’t do it justice and build it to the company it could be.  We just don’t have the monetary and time resources that a consumer web- and mobile- (iPhone) based product Baby Insights and Baby Say Cheese require to become a household name.  I’ve been working on Babble Soft part time while balancing kids, the house, etc. for most of the company’s life.  I spent a few months full time on it just before I took a day job about a year ago, and now the time has come to find a new home for it.  Nicole has been working on this part time, after hours, as well.

We are both discovering that Building A Web Business After Hours is hard to do with two small kids around.  And doubly hard when two ventures are trying to get off the ground in one household: My husband is starting the pre-K to 2nd grade Magellan School that’s scheduled to open this fall and our resources are also being tied up with that and our kids will be attending the school.

That’s a hard moment in business. Still, much better to recognize it and deal with it than to let it linger on, unsaid, forever. And presumably, there is still hope; she doesn’t say closing down. She’s hoping to find it a home.

You’ll notice, I hope, in the quote above how she has a couple of other things going on as well. And oh, by the way, she’s also director of the Austin Technology Incubator and teaches entrepreneurship at the University of Texas.

I knew a man who let a borderline failing business hang around his neck like an albatross for years, even though he knew he should close it down. Arune Gunasegaram has a lesson for all of us in this brief, and somewhat sad, blog post.

Desire alone, or passion and persistence alone, don’t make a business. Sometimes you have to take a step backward. And go on to something else.

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Tim BerryTim Berry
Tim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.