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Why failing fast is critical if you want to eventually win

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https://www.fastcompany.com/90431157/why-failing-fast-is-critical-if-you-want-to-eventually-win

fastcompany.com

Why failing fast is critical if you want to eventually win
The old saying goes, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." But how many tries should you attempt before you throw in the towel and admit defeat? A new study from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management entitled " Quantifying dynamics of failure across science, startups, and security " found that how you fail (and try, try again) determines if you'll eventually succeed.

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Fail Fast!

In our Success obsessed society, failure is rampant, as every successful person has a string of past failures, and may have been a loser before eventually finding success.

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Learning from Failure

The person who eventually succeeds after failing is the one who is using failure to learn, as a feedback mechanism, and applying those lessons in his future decisions.

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Importance of Failing Fast

Failing Fast is crucial considering the first lesson of learning and taking feedback from failure.

The speed of failing ensures we take the path to success sooner rather than being sta...

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Failure is different in science

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Failing better

Scientists should embrace failing better. Failing better means looking beyond the obvious, further than what you know and what you know how to do. Failing better happens when we allow ourselves to ask questions, doubt results, and allow uncertainty.

The way of science is not to stop failing once you've succeeded. Success has to be tested rigorously and considered for what it has not revealed. It has to be used to get to the next place of our ignorance.

A wider approach needed

Many scientists say that science is about a pragmatic approach to putting pieces into a puzzle, and the more pieces you add, the more successful you are.

But this approach is driving science into a corner. We can't keep up with the exponentially expanding literature of ever narrower details. This approach is turning scientists more and more into a secret society of oddballs, tolerated because once in a while, some gadget or cure drops emerge out of the otherwise impenetrable machinery. This process is doomed to run out of steam, or bore us all to death.

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Speed and transfer

Consider at what speed you should try to do things in order to improve performance.
We can often learn something quickly, but without attaining a master level (like getting good at esti...

Failing to Reach an Ideal

There are two problems you can encounter when you're trying to learn something.

  1. You have a clear understanding of what you'd like to do and how you're going to do it, but you're unable to implement the approach you've chosen. Slow things down so you can pay more attention to every aspect of the problem.
  2. Speed learning is effective when you're not sure what the ideal should be and need more information to work it out. A good example of speed leading to move closer to quality is in entrepreneurial fields. Many fail because they picked the wrong problem to solve and wasted too much time trying to solve it.

Going faster vs doing it right

The balance between going faster and doing it right depends on what you're trying to achieve.

  • Faster feedback means more information to find out your key challenges and possible solutions.
  • Slower helps you focus on a strategy you've chosen, allowing you to execute it correctly.

Bad behaviors cascade

That reticence to ever ask someone out on a date probably plays out in your failure to move to a new city, to take that new job or the timidity around your co-workers.

Standing out of the crowd

People don’t like it when someone changes or does something that makes them feel awkward or insecure. They will think he’s crazy, selfish, arrogant. If you want to do something incredible, you have to become comfortable with being different from the rest.

Nothing worth having comes easy

As cliche as that sounds. Most of us give up on something we’re passionate about too soon. But anyone who’s been successful has a tale of struggle and perseverance to share.

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