The rise of failure

For me, it all started with the TED talk by Brené Brown on vulnerability. But that was quite some time ago (I think it was in 2010 or 2011).  Last week, I went to an event called ‘Fuckup Nights’ where speakers talked about their failures in life and how they picked themselves up again and learned valuable lessons. Fuckup Nights is “a global movement (170+ cities, 60+ countries, 25+ different languages) where stories of failed businesses and projects are shared.” *

Because failure means doing, experimenting, trying things out, and pivoting, embracing failure is a hot topic in the entrepreneurial world. Pivoting (think of basketball) means taking a turn and going into a new direction quite swiftly. And pivoting, that what’s Eric Ries’ his book ‘The Lean-Start-up‘ is all about: “The Lean Startup isn’t just about how to create a more successful entrepreneurial business…it’s about what we can learn from those businesses to improve virtually everything we do” *

I also read an article by the Harvard Business Review where professors and authors Julian Birkinshaw and Martine Haas talk about even increasing your return on failure: “in a 2015 Boston Consulting Group survey, 31% of respondents identified a risk-averse culture as a key obstacle to innovation. Senior executives are highly aware of this problem. On one hand, they recognize the usefulness of failure. As 3M’s legendary chairman William McKnight once said, “The best and hardest work is done in the spirit of adventure and challenge…Mistakes will be made.” Pixar’s president, Ed Catmull, has a similar point of view. “Mistakes aren’t a necessary evil,” he has said. “They aren’t evil at all. They are an inevitable consequence of doing something new….and should be seen as valuable.”“.*

The article suggests you should learn from every failure, share your lessons, and review your pattern of failure.

*Sources:
– Fuckup Nights http://fuckupnights.com
– Eric Ries – The Lean Start-up http://theleanstartup.com
– Harvard Business Review – Increase your return on failure – https://hbr.org/2016/05/increase-your-return-on-failure
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