If You’re Not Failing Regularly, You’re Not Trying Hard Enough

I love great quotes. I’ve been reading the fantastic & inspiring book, Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston.

The book is basically a collection of interviews. In it, Livingston speaks with the founders or founding members of companies like Flickr, del.icio.us, PayPal, Hotmail, Blogger, Bloglines, Craigslist, Firefox, Six Apart, 37Signals, Hot Or Not, TiVo, WebTV, Adobe, Apple, Lotus, Groove Networks, Fog Creek Software, Lycos, Yahoo, and more. Quite a list, huh? Yea, I know.

I’m currently reading the interview with Stephen Kaufer of TripAdvisor. One line Kaufer said really struck me:

If we’re not failing at something on a regular basis, we’re just not trying hard enough.

He’s not saying you should be coming up with failures all the time. He’s saying you shouldn’t be afraid of failure. Let go of the fear. Be bold and try something crazy.

On the Web, you’ll soon know if a crazy idea is good or bad. It’s relatively easy to quickly deploy a new feature, get feedback, then pull it if it sucks. But if you hold back the idea because you’re afraid of, I don’t know, whatever, then you may have just held back a revolutionary idea.

Fortunately, companies like Blogger, del.icio.us, and Flickr didn’t do that. If they did, think of what they would have missed. What we would have missed.

Author: Mike Lee

An idealistic realist, humanistic technologist & constant student.

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