Monday, March 09, 2009

Brad Feld on failure

Successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist Brad Feld has some interesting thoughts on failure in his blog post entitled "Have You Ever Failed?". He offers some personal experiences and concludes by telling us that:

In my world view, the best leaders understand that failure is an integral part of things.  The cliche "fail fast" is one of my favorites.  When things aren't working, deal with it.  Another is the famous line from Atlas Shrugged "Nobody stays here by faking reality in any manner whatever."  Denying that failure is part of our existence is akin to faking reality.

While I accept "the experience of failure" feels "negative / crappy / depressing / hard / sucky", I don't believe that "failure is bad."  Deal with it, learn from it, pick yourself up, and try again.

"Learn from it." If only it was as easy as it sounds. Too often, we do learn from failure, but we somehow end up focusing on the "wrong" lessons and somehow miss the "right" lessons.

"Fail fast" is a really, really good idea, but only to the extent that you have "Learn fast" down cold.

-- Jack Krupansky

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