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Jason’s talk at Big Omaha 2009
We’re you logging timber before your talk?
“that’s what evolution does finding what works and building on it”... except that evolution requires mutation, which are usually mistakes. i think the “fail early, fail often” concept is mostly about not being afraid to try to do something. my dad grew up on a dairy farm and was saying this weekend how his dad always saying, while they were out working on the farm if he and his brothers were standing around being lazy: “do something! even if it’s wrong!” however, the failure that might result would be small scale, and educational. the VC people you mention may be looking for large scale failure, which I agree could be wrongheaded.
Interesting talk, thanks for posting.
Is the audio extremely low in volume for anyone else, even when turning the Vimeo control all the way to the top?
I think you misunderstand the value of failure. Although seeing how someone reacts to failure is very telling about their character, this has nothing to do with being character-building and that is not where its value lies.
You can always improve on something you are doing “right”, but doing something “right” or “well” (I put these in quotes because they are not absolutes) does not tell you what aspect you can do better next time.
Failures, on the other hand, help pinpoint areas you can improve. This is why failure is important, because it can tell you the where/what. Failure also doesn’t have to be large scale or life-changing, simple and small failures can make a huge difference in a product, service, or career.
Great talk! I like that you really have a clear vision and that you can articulate that vision in a way that everyone can understand. I agree that we can learn from “old school” industries and by extension, our older workforce.
A really nice, fresh talk! A bit of nitpicking: Jason says that when you’ve got an interruption, it divides your 8-hour workday into 2 pieces. And after the second one, there are 4 pieces. Well, no. There are actually only 3 pieces after the second division, so it’s not that bad. Ok, it is bad enough :).
Great talk Jason. Today’s Thursday, so I won’t be talking to any of my colleagues :) Some really good thoughts in here.
“Yes, but does it scale?” is the “Yes, but does it run Linux?” in the clouds.
“Tomorrow doesn’t happen unless you get today right.” Jason thanks so much for the talk! I’m a big planner type guy but can see your points…scratching my 3 year plan and focusing on what works today. Thanks again!
Great talk, but I know of at least one case where failing often, albeit at a small scale, is beneficial. I auto-crossed for several years (racing against the clock around cones). If you didn’t bump a cone now and then it was taken as a sign of being too safe, and therefore slow, in your driving. To get better, to find the critical edge of performance, you were going to bump a cone now and again. I think successful failure has a scale to it. Bumping the cones is good, crashing your car at every event is not. I’m sure someone might think of analogous business/work cases.
Bill, I’d consider cone bumping a success. You stayed on the track, learned something, and didn’t wreck your car. Crashing into a wall is another story. You don’t have to crash into a wall to learn something.
breezyskies makes a great point. Failing on a smaller level (rather than your whole business being a “failure”) should be a fairly regular occurrence? It might suggest that you’re pushing the boundaries and finding the limit of what’s possible/successful. Perhaps the key being recognising a failure as a failure and changing the game plan early on.
Failure could just be another word for something that doesn’t work – and plenty of things don’t work and you cant know that until you’ve tried it :) Great talk – I enjoyed it a lot.
I agree with your comments on failure. The choices available to us at any point in time are infinite. Failure is nothing more than the identification of a bad choice. It does not help us find what is right. Infinity – 1 is still infinity. Although i do think that fear of failure can be detrimental, as it usually indicates that we are not pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zones, which is where growth typically originates.
I am interested in your intent to continually grow revenue. I can understand the need to be profitable, even highly profitable, but at what point does continued revenue growth cease to be important? And how do you ensure this need for income growth does not compromise your vision of delivering simple and targeted products, and your desire to stay a small and agile company?
do you pick your Shirts depending on the location of the venue?
I find that very sensible of you. It shows the appreciation you have for your audience.
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