Monday, April 5, 2021

Learning from Failures

As I opened Twitter this morning and saw announcement of a new conference called FailQonf, I started realizing I have strong feelings about failure. 

Earlier conversations with past colleague could have tipped this off as he is pointing out big success comes our of many small successes, not failures and I keep insisting on learning requiring both success and failure. 

Regardless, failure is fascinating.

When we play a win-lose -game, one must lose for the other to win. 

A failure for one is a small bump in the road for others.

In telling failure stories, we often imagine we had a choice of doing things differently when we don't. 

A major failure for some is a small consequence for others. 

Power dynamics play a role in failure and its future impacts, perhaps even more than success. 

Presenting a failure in a useful way is difficult. 

Missing an obvious bug. Taking the wrong risk. Trusting the wrong people. 

Failures and successes are a concept we can only talk about in hindsight, and I have a feeling it isn't helping us looking forward. 

We need to talk about experiments and learning, not success and failure. 

And since I always fail to say what I should be saying, let's add a quote: