Saturday, 16 June 2012

Why you should celebrate being a serial failure


I’ve been reading Seth Godin’s book Poke The Box. Which is a bible for innovation. If you are interested in how ideas spread then check Seth out here.

“Poke the Box” is a gospel about starting things. Godin begs you to be an initiator: someone who starts something. Be someone who is prepared to fail along the way if it helps you make a difference.

Capital is becoming increasingly irrelevant. Money is no longer the foundation of the new connected economy. Ideas, and initiators who lead with a passionate and relentless desire to change the status quo, are. What are the key attributes?  Firstly: resilience; secondly: a holistic outlook towards failure. Failure is a necessary part of the system, a key organ within the organism of innovation. Make friends with risk. Make starting a way of life. Going beyond the point of no return. Leaping. Committing. Making something happen. Have the guts and the passion to ship. Be prolific: make shipping a habit.

The tools to build new business, charitable organisations, artistic projects are easier to access (and cheaper) than ever before. The most scarce factor in new products/services now is leadership: people with the guts and passion to act on their ideas and start. Ideas are pretty common, starting is a lot rarer.

Human nature is to need a map. But you must be willing to be the guy who enters unknown territory without a map: draw one and recruit people to act on it. This leadership is a rare quality. People want to be led, they want a map, they are waiting for a leader: be the leader.

Trial and error is the key to forming the map. Improvise in the unknown territory until you get it right. Start don’t wait. If you fail and realise that you will never get the idea to work: stop, shrug your shoulders, and try something new. It is part of the game. Starting is a game and you are going to lose a lot. But by actually playing the game you will win a lot more than people who never get round to it.

Soon is not as good as now: pick up your phone, send an e-mail, buy that book from Amazon: begin your journey this second. Do it when you are passionate about your new idea, when you have momentum. Say “yes! Let’s do it now!”

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