Fail often? Huh? What kind of goal is that?
You’ll find the answer in the remaining parts of the goal. In addition to fail often;
- Fail quickly
- Fail cheaply
In our rapidly-evolving world, where revolutionary change leaves disruption in sector after sector, the ability to innovate, flex, and adapt is vital. Innovate? Flex? Adapt? Great concepts, but how do I DO them? Today? In my world?
One way is by changing your mindset about failure. Can you re-frame failure so it is NOT failing? See failure NOT as bad but good? Failure as NOT the equivalent of ineptitude or stupidity or incompetence?
Instead see intelligent failure as a hallmark of GENIUS? Can you see an intelligent failure as a necessary step in the process toward innovation and ultimate success?
To “Fail Often” means to try MANY new things.
To “Fail Quickly” means to get in and out swiftly. Test your idea, try it. Move on expeditiously if it does not work. Do NOT fall in love with your idea (unless the marketplace does).
To “Fail Cheaply” is to minimize your investment of time and materials. Better test countless new ideas on a “toss it out there and see if it can swim” basis, than to have one or two where you do a resource-consuming, awards-show style rollout. If a concept does not work at 70% or 80% effort level (typically, it is the last 5%, 10%, 20% of perfecting effort that is most expensive), it is unlikely to work at 100%. Or if it does, it is not likely to be a sensation if it is so high maintenance.
An intelligent failure is an effort that may not work, but it was a reasonable gamble.
I’m indebted to my friend Jim Estill, CEO of SYNNEX, for introducing me to this concept.