25 Lessons Learned from Failure


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If you want to succeed, you got fail. And fail a lot!

Sounds counter-intuitive huh? But is one of the most important business concepts.

If you don’t fail, you are not stretching out of your comfort zone. You are not taking risks. You are not learning things along the way.

There is an interesting article on this topic on the blog Untructured Ventures, titled How to Fail: 25 Secrets Learned through Failure. Here is the first lesson:

1. Dither, dither, dither; plan, plan, plan.
Instead: Fail fast. Fire, aim, repeat.

Time is the most valuable asset a person has, and yet it’s the easiest and most common thing wasted. Speed breeds momentum and passion, motivation and a bias for action. Learning through experience is far more valuable than learning through planning, prototyping or researching as nothing is more direct, meaningful and visceral than seeing how something works (or doesn’t).

What is the second-most important asset? Passion. People only have so much passion, intellect and interest to devote to ideas without seeing results, without seeing the fruit of their labour. Give people the chance to succeed and the opportunity to learn without drowning them in the process. Few things are more demotivating than working on a project for an extensive amount of time just to see it canceled shortly before it would have seen the light of day.

Check out the full article for the other 24, it is a nice reading.

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19 Responses to “25 Lessons Learned from Failure”

  • medyum

    Thanks For Sharing…

  • mahesh

    Every one can learn from his or people’s failures. They are really a great source of teaching.
    I have also learned from some of my failure but I have to learn some more cos nobody is perfect…
    Thanks for sharing..

  • andy

    I have failed many of times. It is part of being an entrepreneur. I believe the people that succeed are the ones that learn from their mistakes.

  • Peter van Veen

    Hey Daniel, that was indeed a nice article to read.
    Have learned a lot from it, thanks!

  • Allan

    Fail fast, fail often, fail cheap. It’s sometimes a numbers game, so the more times you can play the game quickly and cheaply, the more likely you might stumble upon success.

  • Michael Aulia

    I remember reading your mistakes in the past post some months ago (about your blog should be on the root of your domain)

    I should have followed your advice to put my blog on the root at that time before the blog gets too popular!

  • Neeta

    Failure is akin to success. But one needs to have a big heart. Anyway good content.

  • HowToMakeMyBlog.com

    Nice article… thanks for the link!

    Very interesting that the articles is downloadable in several versions like pdf and powerpoint… it seems a very nice way of presenting your content and letting the visitors choose what they prefer…


  • Carl

    Thanks for this – I went and read the whole article and some good points made throughout.

    When it comes to failure I think you have to consider the environment you’re in – at work too many failures or failures that lead to waste of effort by others equal loss of credibility and at worst loss of job.

    Failure has to be managed – and sometimes comes completely out of the blue – for example I occasionally get taken somewhere and get given ‘words’ where a report I’ve written has told someone ‘up above’ something someone lower down the ladder didn’t want them to hear.

    I call this my ‘annual b******g’ – when I get to 3 a-b’s in a year I know I’m taking too much risk and go play with something nice and quiet for a while.

    Measured risk management is the key – be aware you have to take some risks to get progress but too much and you’ll be risking nothing because you won’t be there.

    Your failures have to be congruent with the level of failure accepted by the environment you’re failing in – so awareness of your environment may be the starting point before you agree with yourself to start failing rather than planning.

    In some place you fail once you get shot once.

  • Web Marketing

    Like it was hinted to above, failure can definitely be a good thing, but you need to learn from it and move on. Continuously repeating the same processes will only lead to insanity:)

  • Angel Cuala

    Very inspiring, Daniel! They remind me of my favorite quote – Success is never final, failure is never fatal!


  • Lex

    Thanks for valuable advice.Some times the internet can bring over analysis paralysis kind of thing.It happens to all of us.

  • Sohail

    some great experience there. Off course failure teach you a lot and if you did not fail you haven’t done something amazing that you could do.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Satish, I think this refers to people that take action and learn by doing as opposed to people that keep planning and measuring forever trying to make sure everythign is perfect before they actually do anything.

  • Roberto Montanez

    Good read!
    Point #5 is one that we always must keep in our minds. Thank you for the link.

  • Alex Fraiser

    Great article. Usually there are articles on how to be successful in whatever we are doing, however in none of those lists does it mention failing to succeed. Thanks for the link.

  • Bilingual blogger

    I recommend to all entrepreneurs Seth Godin’s book “The Dip” which talks about this topic and how to identify when you’re stuck and should quit vs. stuck and stick with it.

    Personally, I’m not afraid of failure. That’s not what spooks me. It’s the money issue, where am I going to get it from to develop my next creative idea, that is more of a concern for me.

  • SEO Genius

    Its also important to know when you’ve failed. Know when you have exhausted an idea and when there is no point to waste more time on that same idea.

  • SATISH — Technotip.org

    Its a nice read Daniel….

    Though confused with these lines – “Learning through experience is far more valuable than learning through planning”.

    This sounds link, hard work is better than smart work!
    And I doubt whether its true with all cases.

    Anyway, all other points are very good and a nice article, for the weekend read..Thanks for the link.

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