Failure Is An Option, Just Do It Early

A blog post of mine over on The Converging Network is getting some attention today. The post, Fail Early, Fail Often, is about viewing failures as something that shapes, crystallizes and forms successes over time. The key is to fail early in the life of a product or company because those failures end up being lessons about what works. And if you're too afraid of failure, you'll likely never push yourself or reach far enough to achieve much success in the world of competitive products.

That's a lesson I've learned many times building products. As hard as it might be to hear at times, you want as much criticism, critique, praise, ambivalence, -- all of the feedback you might get because ultimately that's what shapes good ideas, products and companies into great ones.

You can see that in Microsoft in so many examples. Everyone knows that when Microsoft first enters a market segment they may not get it right, but they will stay at it, refining the product or approach, until the finally do get it right, often pushing competitors out in the process.

Here are some other interest posts by Foundry Group VC Seth Levine and by Denny K Miu, a CEO/co-founder of a failed company, reflecting on failures. Renound VC Brad Feld adds his encouragement to fail quickly and learn from it too.

If you won't learn from a failure, then it truly was a failure.

Like this? Here are some of Mitchell's recent posts.

Google Android Learned From iPhone's Mistakes

XLS/DOC/PPT Get Open Spec Promise

Tweaking Out Performance Before Vista SP1

Streaming Video Mashup-News Coverage Innovation

Will You Live To Regret Facebook?

Check out Mitchell's Converging On Microsoft Podcast. Also visit Mitchell's personal blog The Converging Network and SSAATY Podcast. Visit Microsoft Subnet for more news, blogs, opinion from around the Web. Sign up for the bi-weekly Microsoft newsletter. (Click on News/Microsoft News Alert.)
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