It’s easy to blast Curt Schilling and his company’s collapse, losing the state of Rhode Island $75 million in the process.
But he says he also invested $50 million of his own money in his company, 38 Studios — and we assume he lost it all. Fifty million dollars.
OK, criticize him all you want. He blew it. He made mistakes. Probably huge mistakes. But isn’t risk — sometimes massive risks — part of starting a business? Isn’t failure supposed to be something you learn from, not something you condemn and mock?
The state of Rhode Island should never have lent Schilling the $75 million. A conservative Republican, Schilling was also a mild hypocrite for taking the taxpayers’ dough. The company ultimately failed. That’s sad — and bad for Schilling, his workers and the taxpayers of Rhode Island.
The demise of 38 Studios may well turn out to be a classic subject for a Harvard Business School case-study course.
But there can no doubt Schilling was a classic entrepreneur who had the guts to follow his dream — and back it up with his own money. He created hundreds of jobs during the lows of a recession. By most accounts, his video game is also actually quite good.
He was just an entrepreneur who failed from a business standpoint. That doesn’t make him a villain.
File under: No pain, no gain