The Economist has a really good report on Apple, and the lessons we can learn from it. One such lesson is below.
The fourth lesson from Apple is to “fail wisely”. The Macintosh was born from the wreckage of the Lisa, an earlier product that flopped; the iPhone is a response to the failure of Apple’s original music phone, produced in conjunction with Motorola. Both times, Apple learned from its mistakes and tried again. Its recent computers have been based on technology developed at NeXT, a company Mr Jobs set up in the 1980s that appeared to have failed and was then acquired by Apple. The wider lesson is not to stigmatise failure but to tolerate it and learn from it: Europe’s inability to create a rival to Silicon Valley owes much to its tougher bankruptcy laws.
And following along this theme, here’s a quote from a TV show that I just watched.
“If you remove every obstacle from life, you become weak in body and in mind. Your enemies won because they were willing to do what you have cheated to avoid: to fail and fail again until a solution was found….It is only by experience in failure that we learn to succeed.”
Failure isn’t something we should try to avoid. No, we don’t go out and try to fail, but we shouldn’t be afraid of it or avoid it either. The fear of failure is what hinders us from improving as an individual and in general as a society. It is what hinders us from trying out new things, and in doing so, it is what hinders our progress.
To progress, we have to learn to embrace failure.