i tend to like to talk to people who failed. some of them have analyzed why they failed and how they failed. these are often good lessons for the future.
a lot of people who succeeded were very lucky and usually don't draw the right conclusions from their success. from my own past failures, my main take-away is that hiring (and, if
you have to, firing) is the most important thing a company can do.
Fabrice Grinda / Jordan Cooper have a great post today about the Lessons from a Startup Failure where they dissect a recent failure. i think this should be read by all current and aspiring entrepreneurs.