August 17, 2009

Do You Fail Like Apple?

I'd rather attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed.
Robert H Schuller

If you fail the first time, do you
(a) quit
(b) refine and experiment again

Failure teaches in ways that success can't. Even so, we don't want to be tagged as failure-prone. Since our #2 fear is criticism, we can protect ourselves by doing little. Nothing ventured, nothing lost.

Inertia puts us at a competitive disadvantage and can lead to a downward spiral.

Fail Fast And Cheap
Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless. Thomas Edison
There's nothing wrong with failing often, provided we fail cheaply and quickly. That's where we have an advantage over larger competitors.

When you think of Apple, what comes to mind? iPhone? iPod? Mac? iTunes? Innovation?

Faded Away
One who makes no mistakes, never makes anything.
English proverb
What about Apple's failures? Here's a partial list in chronological order.
  1. Apple Lisa (1983); $9,995; overpriced
  2. Newton organizer (1993); $999; poor handwriting recognition
  3. Macintosh TV (1993); $2,097; lousy TV, lousy computer
  4. Pippin video game console (1996); $599; under-powered, over-priced, too few games
  5. 20th Anniversary Macintosh (1997); $7,499 US; overpriced
  6. G4 Cube (2000); $1,599; overpriced
  7. iPod Hi-Fi (2006); $349; poor performance, high price
  8. Apple TV (2007); $299; limited content
That's quite a list. Yet Apple keeps going. Learning and innovating. So can we.


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