fouri 355 Prepare to Fail2

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.

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