Sunday, May 18, 2008

Fail Early; Fail Often

A couple of years ago I sat in on one of the planning meetings for the 2007 IDSA / ICSID Congress in San Francisco. At one point in the day we assembled into breakouts to discuss various aspects of the project. I joined the one on the story of design in the Bay Area, since I'm a design history junkie.

I remember being fascinated with the tales spun by old Silicon Valley hands like Hugh Dubberly about the culture of risk that has always been strong there. Failure is a badge of honor. If your resume says that you haven't been fired at least once, you haven't had at least a few spectacular bombs, you haven't had at least one venture shot out from under you, you haven't accomplished much at all.

I remember the infamous Dot.Bomb at the beginning of the decade, listening to NPR interviewing people in the Bay Area who had just lost their jobs. No moaning. No whining. They were already working in someone's garage on some new idea.

Fail early. Fail often. Embrace risk.

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