Sunday, 25 August 2013

Fail fast, fail often, fail always

Apparently failing fast and failing often will lead to an eventual success, assuming of course that you are able to give the project or whatever it is time to develop and mature to a sufficient degree so that "failure" can be meaningfully assessed.

Failure does not necessarily mean that the project will not be a success, but rather that the technology, knowledge and product doesn't necessarily satisfy the current business goals. This is quite different from something that is a failure.

The mentality that everything should be an immediate success and that the smallest flaw is evidence of failure is killing not just research and innovation but the whole research and development process.

Furthermore the tendency to rapidly kill projects perceived to be failures without understanding what can be learned from those project and applied to bolster the next or parallel projects will eventually kill your business.

Innovation only comes from allowing scientists and engineers time to develop their ideas and not by rapidly killing those ideas before enough learning can be gained from them to benefit the overall business.

Indeed, if you do want to fail fast and fail often, ensure that you are learning from your mistakes and capitalising on the technologies and knowledge gained so that the fail often doesn't become fail always.

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