craigconnects: Connecting the World for the Common Good
contact

The acceptance of failure as a spur to innovation

Recently, I was part of the Traveling Geeks tour of UK tech, including the
Reboot Britain conference. (The Geeks are a collection of talented
journalists, and myself.)

I was struck by the repeated comment that failure is stigmatized in UK
business culture. In Silicon Valley, failure is just a normal phase of
one's career. You might succeed in your first endeavor, probably not, so
you're ready to persist in subsequent efforts.

That is, there's some expectation of failure and the expectation that
you'll get over it.

This is not unique to Silicon Valley, but it's far more expected here than
anywhere I've heard. The attitude is the norm here, but in a lot of
places failure continues to be stigmatized, and it's hard to recover.

It seems that widespread innovation and success requires the acceptance of
failure, and then a readiness to move on.

That's generally true in Silicon Valley, maybe needs to be true in the UK
and maybe everywhere else.

Tags: | 21 Responses »

21 Responses to The acceptance of failure as a spur to innovation

Stowe Boyd says:

A very American sentiment: failing is a good way to learn, or at least, if you fail you can learn from it in important ways, perhaps in ways that can't be accomplished otherwise.
Elsewhere, the presumption is that failure should be avoided. You should, the thinking goes, prepare adequately to accomplish some goal, or not undertake it at all.
It's somehow linked to the frontier, over-the-next-hill, and hyper optimistic American culture.

Sam says:

Good stuff Craig, I think you make a very important point. Last summer I was interviewing people involved in 'ubiquitous computing' research and development in silicon valley and one of my interviewees said something really pertinent:
"in the purely research arena we write so little about failures, we can’t write a paper about a failed experiment … you’ve got to show that its positive and, yes, people really want this, but the failures are the projects that are so telling, and so important"
I would suggest that there is a real need for those involved in arenas of 'innovation' (perhaps particularly in the UK) to be a lot more light on their feet and learn from those failures.

darkfall gold says:

A very American sentiment: failing is a good way to learn, or at least, if you fail you can learn from it in important ways, perhaps in ways that can't be accomplished otherwise.
Elsewhere, the presumption is that failure should be avoided. You should, the thinking goes, prepare adequately to accomplish some goal, or not undertake it at all.
It's somehow linked to the frontier, over-the-next-hill, and hyper optimistic American culture.

generic viagra says:

Hi
provide a safe resting area for horses that work, from trail riding to eventing. This patent pending portable stall also provides convenience in transporting as corral collapses down to 1/5th or 1/6th its size. This portable corral can fit in the mid-tack area, bed of truck, even back seat!
Made of high impact engineering grade resin, ultrasonically welded and hydraulic pressed fitting, these portable panels are very durable and provide years of maintenance free service. This portable stall can stand alone or be secured to horse trailer with brackets that are included. Portable corral comes standard with Velcro ties for lighter handling. New Product Improvements include user friendly rods for connecting panels. thanks

kamagra online says:

Its a saying "Try try and try hard,until you read success"
Ya its true,The time one fails every body should understand that it is the time for something new to happen.

coach sale says:

We don't really have to go looking for them. We have a wonderful world that is full of beauty, light and promise. Why waste time in this world looking for the bad, disappointing or annoying when we can look around us, and see the wondrous things before us?

viagra online says:

Thank you for this wealth of information and beautiful photos.
Are the ribbon covered containers done by wiring the ribbon in loops?
Previous research on job incentives has found that when they are unexpected, they have a greater impact on productivity.

christian louboutin says:

Christian Louboutin Evening Shoes can be the best decoration of any event you attend.We provide a unique collection of the most gorgeous, most eye-catching,most comfortable evening shoes, and brial shoes by christian louboutin ireland that you will find they are worth you to buy! These stuning christian louboutin evenings will certainly enhance your legs and help make you look slender and taller. And as we all know, they seem to impact men’s libido and elicit many more compliments from the male of the species.

Beats by dre says:

Everybody knows that the best thing about having a smart phone is being able to do all sorts of things with that phone that regular cell phones are not capable of doing.