Improvising the revolution: Fail to win, like Steve Jobs

Lessons from AppleThe Apple Lisa. The Newton. Macintosh TV. The Apple III. The Powermac G4 Cube. Steve Jobs had a brilliant understanding of how technology trends were developing, yet even he messed up fairly regularly and spectacularly (although he got better with time – and practice) – see details here, with pictures, of the seven top Apple failures. In addition to product failures, Steve Jobs also made some really shocking business decisions – HBR lists his five worst here.

It’s vogue these days to learn all sorts of lessons from Apple. My take away is that you shouldn’t be scared of failure. And that if you have some big winners, people will soon forget your losers. HBR suggest that we learn that “the revolution will be improvised”.

“Even the great business visionaries and luminaries of our times often fail and have setbacks. Imperfection is a part of any creative process and of life, yet for some reason we live in a culture that has a paralyzing fear of failure, which prevents action and hardens a rigid perfectionism. It’s the single most disempowering state of mind you can have if you’d like to be more creative, inventive, or entrepreneurial. The antidote is to try a small experiment, one where any potential loss is knowable and affordable. The revolution will be improvised.”

What are you currently trying that has a fair chance of failure?
When was your last big failure? What did you learn from it?
Are you scared of failure?

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