Trone Talks About Learning from Failure (VIDEO)

Total Wine & More founder David Trone said Thursday too many businesses are afraid of failure.

“We want failure,” Trone told the Small Business Network. “Because if we don’t have some failure, how are we going to learn. If we don’t learn, we’re probably not going to succeed.”

Trone, who ran unsuccessfully for the 8th Congressional District in 2016, is weighing his political options for 2018, is eyeing the Montgomery County executive seat or the 6th Congressional District seat now held by Rep. John Delaney, if Delaney chooses to run for governor.

We asked Trone, a Democrat, what he learned from his 2016 political failure.

Trone addressed nearly 90 business leaders at the Small Business Network, a monthly event at the Montgomery Community Media studios hosted by Kelly Leonard of Taylor Leonard. Trone’s company, headquartered in Bethesda, has 153 stores in 23 states, and it’s the largest private alcohol retailer in the country.

Leonard asked him about his early adoption of “ban the box,” an effort to remove a checkbox on job applications for applicants to note if they’ve been convicted of a crime. Trone said his company asks applicants who they are what do they bring to the job.

In an interview, Trone said government should be pro-business, and Democrats need to move to the center.

Finally, he said government needs to consider long-term solutions instead of short-term fixes. Cuts to funding to National Institutes of Health is a short-term solution, but it’s the worst possible kind, he said.

Kelly Leonard, left, interviews David Trone. | Michael Walsh

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug


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