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Think Big, Start Small, Fail Fast, Succeed Faster

It’s a side of entrepreneurship we don’t like to talk about — failure. Unfortunately, it’s a big part of being an entrepreneur and to ignore it would be a big mistake. Below, on an episode of “This Week in TechStars“, Don Dodge from Google gives a talk about failure and setting impossible goals. Here are some of my favorite points from his talk –

  • Failure is not an option — it’s a requirement to get to success.
  • Failure is making the same mistake twice and not learning from it.
  • Think of failure as a step to a success.
  • At Google, achieving 60% of the impossible is better than achieveing 100% of the possible.
  • Thing big, start small, fail fast, succeed faster.
  • There’s a very fine line between a brilliant visionary and a delusional loser. That line is luck.
  • “I have not failed, but I’ve found 10,000 approaches that do not work” ~ Thomas Edison
  • Failures do not irreparably harm your reputation.

In his talk he gives a few examples of “Failures” that have turned into success –

  • Guitar Hero was one of the first games to do $1 Billion in sales. The company behind it took 10 years and failed 9 times to get there. Guitar Hero was their 10th try.
  • Angry Birds was the 52nd game the company created. Can you name any of the 51 before Angry Birds?
  • Post-it notes was originally a failed adhesive. Super glue was another failure of adhesive, this time, because it was too strong.
  • Odeo was a podcasting platform — total failure. Twitter was a side-project of the same team.
  • Sticky Bits did a complete turn-around and started Turntable.fm.

Watch the entire video. His talk starts at the 1:15 mark.

Photo Credits: Tinou

Posted on February 2, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Categories: Business, Startups

Written by

Jason Demant is the co-organizer of TWiST Seoul. He is also the co-founder of Unanchor.com.