Michael Daboll ’19

Using Failure to Fuel Future Success

Michael Daboll ’19 / San Diego, California

“I’ve always enjoyed finding a problem, no matter how small it seemed, and then trying to turn it into a business. Every business I have been involved in is connected to my love of entrepreneurship, whether it was landscaping, fixing bikes, being a music producer, or in my current role running my auto detailing company. As an entrepreneur, I can help people, do what I love for a living, and adapt quickly to address new problems all at the same time.

“When I first came to Babson through its Summer Study for high school students and saw how everything we learned was connected to entrepreneurship, I realized Babson was for me. Here, so much of what I learn both in and out of the classroom can be applied to my career plans. For example, I am a member of the Babson Auto Group and live in the CODEPLEX tower with other members of Babson’s Community of Developers & Entrepreneurs (CODE). I’ve only just started learning code, but CODE is a great way to meet new people with unique interests who can help me with technical problems I might have.

“At Babson, with classes like FME (Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship), I don’t have to wait until after college to get real-world experience. My FME business was The Bendy, a bendable phone holder, and one key insight I gained was how important having the right people is to successfully operate a business. The members of my group rarely disagreed, and I think our positive team dynamic was critical to our company running effectively. However, the most valuable thing I have learned at Babson was from my FME teacher Professor (Yasuhiro) Yamakawa, who taught me that failure is actually a good thing.

“I learned that the most successful entrepreneurs reflect on their mistakes and apply what they learn from their failures to future ventures.”

“I began to meet with Professor Yamakawa outside of FME to discuss entrepreneurship and get guidance on the business I was running last year. He always says, ‘You failed? Oh, how lucky you are!’ And, when my own business failed, I realized that the lessons I learned completely outweighed the failure. I am very grateful to have Professor Yamakawa as a mentor—with his help I learned that the most successful entrepreneurs reflect on their mistakes and apply what they learn from their failures to future ventures.

“Even though I have always thought of business ideas to solve problems, Babson has definitely helped me better understand the difference between a feasible idea and an idea that should just be a hobby. Being at Babson means that, when I have an idea for a possible venture, I can always ask people from different places with different backgrounds for their thoughts. It’s like having a global network I can rely on for unique perspectives. I also plan on traveling abroad as a junior—having friends from so many different places has made me want to learn more about different cultures.”