The Tricky Part

What does it mean to fail?

Jeff Bezos outlines two types of failure:

The first type is when you are truly trying something new, something you’ve never done before, and it fails.

The second is when you’ve done a task or project before and it fails.

The first is the type of failure that is most valuable.

The later can also be valuable, depending on its context. but it is often more likely to be neither permissible nor valuable.

Because, you should be good at what you’ve done before.

A perfect example of this would be if Amazon opened a fulfillment center, something they’ve done 175 times now, and it were to fail.

This is not a valuable failure.

However, it is also important to note that even when you are trying something for the first time and it’s failing, to keep an eye out for signs that you should pivot.

This is the tricky part.

This is where having a criteria, or even gut sense, is so important.

A criteria as simple as, if I don’t see x result by y time, I’m going to make a change.

That can seem very black and white.

But the good news is you don’t need to know what the change is right now, because hopefully it will be impacted by the results of your experiment.

A criteria simply provides a good check in place to force reflection and minimize the time spent going down the wrong path.

I’m still learning about when you should stick something out or drop it, that’s the tricky part.

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