This is not part of the american cultural narrative and thus will be harder to accept even to your own psyche.
Its important to understand how the difference between your own thinking and society's thinking can and will affect your own happiness (usually in a negative way). Its not something many people think about but has very real consequences.
I just bought the book "reWork" by the guys at 37signals and so now my opinion on every business bei doomed to fail is different. But I think we're missing the point. What if this isn't about failure at all? What if Diaspora was widely thought to be a big success?
What I'm getting at is maybe it wasn't "failure" that disturbed this man but simply the pressure to succeed. I'm someone who is succeeding in business so far but I still get bad bouts of depression and feel like a failure anyway. It's not just me either, it can be anyone.
I don't know enough about this man and Diaspora to have insight into his thoughts or to know about the success or failure of the company but I haven't seen any indications from anyone here that he was distressed over failure. It could've just been the pressure of it all. Whether you've made it big or you're still the little guy in a garage that pressure is the same. It's all relative. The little guy worried about payng rent and the big guy sweats over the down payment on the mansion. Same pressure, different context.