Prepare to Fail.
Decca records turned down The Beatles. Their response to the band’s submission was, “Guitar groups are on the way out.” According to expert researchers Nielsen, The Beatles were the most streamed rock band of 2020, fifty years after they last recorded a new track.
Sir James Dyson had 5,126 failed prototypes before his first bagless vacuum cleaner went into production. Now, only people from my generation or older refer to all vacuums as “Hoovers”.
Henry Ford’s first two companies went bankrupt. So did Walt Disney’s first venture. Soichiro Honda had to pawn his wife’s wedding ring to stay afloat.
Perhaps the most successful failure of all time is the Apollo 13 moon mission. The fact is they failed to land on the moon which was their objective. But we look back on it as a triumph, and rightly so. Despite encountering problems not conceived by NASA, the combination of a brilliant crew, supported by outstanding talent in Houston, resulted in one of the greatest achievements of the late 20th century.
At the EA Masters in October, Seth Godin poured scorn on the question, “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?”
Instead he offered an alternative: “What would you do if you knew you would fail?”
I think this is a much better question to ask as we enter the next normal.
I know, it’s counterintuitive. We pursue success, not failure. But by doing so we become risk averse.
I suggest that nothing of consequence has been achieved without failure. Whilst I find the poster quote, “No failure, only learning” more than a tad nauseous, I profoundly believe that the absence of expectation of failure to be perhaps the biggest limiter of development.
We’re entering a new era. It could well be that the “roaring 20’s” will be redefined by the 21st century version. I predict that the future winners will be those who choose to accept failure as part and parcel of winning. Perhaps the adage “fail to prepare, prepare to fail” should be rewritten, “prepare to fail in order to win.”
Join over 6,000 property professionals, including leading estate and letting agents and receive information, insight, ideas and inspiration (four-i) from top estate agency coach Peter Knight, straight to your inbox every Monday. Join now
Find out more about Property Academy and the services we provide here.
Agree or disagree with the views expressed in this newsletter? Share the article and your views on social media today.Follow our social channels here: