Innovation | January 13, 2023

The good side of screwing up: Fail as a purpose for 2023?

We all like to talk about our successes and the things we do well, but that's not the best way to move forward, so we're launching this series in which we'll be talking about failures that have led to great innovations. 

Maybe the title doesn't seem like the best advice we can give you to start the year, but after reading it you will understand it better. 

The first thing is to be clear about what we mean by fail, because it is a word that has several meanings. In this case we are referring to doing something that turns out to be wrong or incorrect.

But the key to what we want to tell you is in the first word of the definition: Doing. That's what we like at TheCUBE. At the end ideas don't fail if you don't try to turn them into reality, but they are also useless if they remain like an idea. It's obvious that if you don't do anything it can't go wrong

Failure and entrepreneurship

If you're in the world of entrepreneurship, failure is a concept you should be familiar with and not be afraid of. If even Jeff Bezos says that Amazon is "the best place in the world to fail" we all need to keep it in mind.

In the world of innovation, failure is something that you should find motivating and that has a different meaning than it does for others.

Failure as a path to success

It should not be failing that scares you, but how you react to it and what you can learn or not from that failure. The best way to understand it is with examples, so let's talk about the P&G case, which can help us understand it better.

Procter & Gamble is the world's largest company in the FMCG sector, which means that they know how to do things well. But do you know what they have in their Cincinnati offices and next to all their successes? A nice "Wall of Failures". It is a wall with all the products they launched on the market and ended up being a failure. Because as strange as it may sound, one thing and the other go hand in hand.

A.G. Lafley, who was CEO of P&G for 12 years, said in an interview for Harvard Business Review that he sees his failures "as a gift" that have allowed him to learn much more than his successes.

Some people understand failure as a defeat and others as a necessary step towards success. It's a matter of perspective, and we already talked about the importance of seeing things from another perspective in one of our first blogs that we leave you here.

We don't mean that failing is okay and you just have to keep trying until things work out. It's not that easy. Failure must be understood to serve as a learning experience, each failure brings you a little closer to success if you are able to understand it enough to not repeat. If you fail and learn enough from it, the only thing you are doing is getting closer to success.

In the end it is as if you were building something with Lego and each success or failure counts as another piece that allows you to finish the structure you are trying to build.

Not all failures are the same

It is difficult to find a more dynamic and experimental ecosystem than ours. We have launched 17 startups in 5 years and we do not believe in ideas that are not tested and brought to reality. We can't tell you that all of them have been a success. We have failed and we will continue to fail, it is a consequence of constantly doing new things..

In the first blog we launched Andrés Haddad, CEO at TheCUBE already made it clear that here we work on projects that no one has done before and there is no path to follow in order to get to the objectives. And when you are doing something new and experimenting constantly it is easier to make mistakes, so you need to have the courage to understand that. It is a matter of time before failure comes.

Here we have put a lot of effort into understanding this and creating a culture in which our entire team understands that failure is a consequence of what we do and how we do it. It is not something that is punished or that means we are doing things wrong. We are not afraid to take risks in creating new ways of doing things.

The problem is to fail twice in the same thing because we have not understood it and we have not been able to learn from it. But fortunately, we have a team that learns from everything it does to improve in every project, and this is because we have been able to develop a psychological security that allows us to keep taking risks.

The key is to fail as early and cheaply as possible during the validation process in order to discard the things that don't work and arrive at what we can consider a success in the fastest and most efficient way.

Do you now understand the title of this blog? If you fail at something during this 2023 (and in the future) at least you will be doing something, because the one who does not fail is the one who does nothing.


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