The early colony of Jamestown, Virginia was not immediately successful. The location chosen for the colony was a swamp, plagued by mosquitoes, with undrinkable water and land not particularly suited for agriculture. Even worse, many of the original colonists lacked practical skills in farming and survival. Two-thirds of the initial settlers died. The colony never really thrived and it was only after it was relocated to Williamsburg that it really could be said to succeed.
Although the colony itself was a failure, the areas in which it could be considered successful were those in which it helped the English determine what was needed to colonize Virginia. James Rolfe's success in raising tobacco became a future mainstay of the southern economy and also created a valuable export.
The manufacturer of glassware by immigrants from eastern Europe also was a success, and created another viable export. Government by representative assembly was also pioneered in Jamestown and was a successful model for future political organization in the United States.