Beauty of Failure

Beauty of failure

Up next is Google Developer advocate and Microsoft veteran Don Dodge in discussion with Pat Mitchell, President & CEO of the Paley Center for Media to talk about lessons from failure.

"Failure is not an option, it's a requirement", Don Dodge opens his talk. It is fundamental to learning. Real failure is to make the same mistake twice, so you haven't learned anything.

The philosophy at Google goes like this: Achieving 60 % of the impossible is better than reaching 100% of the ordinary. If you achieve 85% of your goals you are not thinking big enough. If you reach a 100 %, it is likely you are cheating. If you haven't failed, you are not trying hard enough. That's why in Silicon Valley, they won't call it failure. "We call it experience."

Success is a terrible teacher, Dodge says. It deludes us, that we know everything already. Success can also mask underlying issues, when often luck and timing also played a role.

Dodge cites some examples for success after a long series of failures like Angry Birds being Rovio's 52nd game.

Pat Mitchell asks Dodge who is then making the decision that something is a failure and won't be developed further. Dodge explains, that at Google Larry Page would cut the program, but your career won't be over. However, Dodge says, he also cannot recommend failing many times and repeating the same mistake all over again. Also if you just rely on your guts and instinct and don't look at the numbers, you also won't last very long. However a culture that allows failure and encourage risks, will drive innovation.

To wrap it up, Pat Mitchell cites her grandmother who used to say: "When you fall on your face, remember, it's a forward movement."

Mentioned in this live blog

Mitchell pat 36
Pat Mitchell
Women's Media Center
Chair of the Board
Women's Media Center
Don dodge carre web
Don Dodge
Developer Relations
Mountain View

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