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The Success of Failures: 5 tips for how to make good mistakes.

The ‘failure is the first step to success’  motivational motto is passed around when things go bad as an encouragement that reminds those wallowing in the pear-shaped shadow of another failed design that eventually, they will get it right.  Many amazing discoveries have been accidentally realised after several attempt have gone belly-up.

Here are 5 tips of how to ‘eliminate the negative and accentuate the positive’…


1. Behind the Scenes.

Before jumping head first into a new and oh-so-exciting venture, do a little research into the process that you are going to become a part of. I say a little; I mean a lot. Investigate each and every stage that will be involved after this decision has been made or the idea has been accepted etc. Research similar ventures and the pitfalls they encountered. Try and understand the effects of changing markets on the development of this new product or service. Learn from others mistakes and reduce failure’s element of surprise.


2. Small scale.

This point is about minimising cost of failure: after all, we are only encouraging the experimental approach, not recklessness. Prototype this venture by using a scaled down target market and and a high level of feedback. This reduces the expense of mistakes  and allows for relevant adaptations to be made.


3. Risky opportunity.

Mistakes can be made when we take risks. Good mistakes can be made when we take calculated risks. Devise a simple list that evaluates the potential of the venture. ‘s. Try to construct equal lists of pros and cons, as this will ensure that you when you come to making a decision, it is weighted by the individual value of each point rather than the number of negative or positive items.


4. Walk the tightrope.

After embarking upon the big project it is important to be able to spot a dud early on. To be able to do this effectively there needs to be a balance of passion and impartiality when reviewing the venture. Passion is a key motivator and very important in the quest for success, but there is can obscure the warning signs. Impartiality will allow


5. Get motivational.

Check out this link to be inspired by people who have been there and done it all before. http://www.onlinecollege.org/2010/02/16/50-famously-successful-people-who-failed-at-first/


Posted on September 5th, 2012

About Dave Hayhurst

Dave is head strategist and account manager at Marriage. He has extensive experience in consumer marketing, from executing campaigns in the national press, direct mail with Sky TV and digital marketing in the mobile app space.

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