Whether you call it ‘fail fast’, ‘fail forward’ or even ‘fail better’… it’s all rubbish. After all, you tend to hit what you aim for. That’s just a way of trying to excuse an expected failure due to lack of preparation. If failing is such a good method, why do smart people spend any time on a plan? Because avoiding failure with smart strategies is much more valuable.
Failure itself isn’t bad, as long as you learn
Every now and then you can hear hip and trendy startups proudly say they ‘failed fast’. In pretty much all other situations this is not an option. If your business is your retirement plan, if you have staff with families who depend on their job or large institutional investors, or are just listed on the stock exchange, ‘failing fast’ is not an option. And we understand why: because every organisation no matter how small is trying to decrease their cost to gain a competitive advantage. Trail and error is simply not an efficient development process. Try asking your bank or your rich uncle for a $50k loan and see how they respond to the ‘fail fast’ strategy. They’re probably more eager to sponsor you to the casino… at least those odds you can calculate.
No, ‘failing fast’ is rubbish. But what isn’t rubbish is understanding that failure will happen and accepting that you need to learn from it. The most important thing to understand is that you need to bounce back, not give up and adapt. Constantly creating new avenues to success is essential… especially if they’re not aimed at failure!
If you’re serious in your approach to business and you need results, then failing fast won’t help. A smart strategy and clear understanding of the pitfalls will!