The keynote speaker at the Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce Big Summit confessed that he failed when he started a business.
Jim Duffy told how he and a few colleagues blew £375,000 of their own money.
The former policeman set up an app so football fans could play a game on their phones at half time.
He and his colleagues even got some of the biggest clubs in England and Scotland on side.
But, he said, we got it wrong. What do fans do at half time? Pie, Bovril and pee.
And the business went down the pan.
Mr Duffy took some hard lessons on board and subsequently set up a business hatchery – a place where people are helped to turn their ideas into businesses.
He also founded Entrepreneurial Spark, which opened this year in Preston Road, Brighton.
It’s early days, he said. And he ran through some of the challenges ahead for the start ups based there.
Mr Duffy praised the thriving Chamber. And he quoted Body Shop founder Anita Roddick – who opened her first shop in Brighton in the 1970s.
She said, if you think you’re too small to make a difference, try going to sleep with a mosquito in the room.
Mr Duffy encouraged people to “go do”.