Why failing is learning, and learning is needed

This week we had a couple of world-class trainers and speakers at our company, and boy did we learn!

Dyson, the guy who re-invented the vacuum cleaner said that failure is the essential part of innovation and learning. In his company’s site he states that “15 years (…) and 5000 failed experiments” were required for the new dyson vacuum cleaner to come to light. Think about it: 5000 failed experiments!

Would you say he is a failure because he failed so many times? No, failure was needed for the re-invention to happen!

Very often we hear in the software world: “Don’t try it, do it!”, or “Plan it better so that you don’t fail!”. These phrases are bad for us, and they are bad for business. Failure is the key part of learning, which in turn means that if you never fail you will never learn, and in the software business not learning is as good as being dead.

So this week was both a humbling and learning experience for me and I suspect for many other people at our company. Being face to face with world-class people and listening to their experiences made me (and I hope others) understand that even though we do know a lot, we are still learning. The future is bright with the lights of knowledge waiting to be discovered! Bring it on!

2 thoughts on “Why failing is learning, and learning is needed

  1. Absolutely. Fail often, fail fast to make sure you succeed! Another one of those paradoxic ideas that top management finds so hard to understand (maybe due to lack of real experience).

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