Fail Fast and Change Things

One of my favorite tenants of business development is 'Fail fast and change things.' Why? Because it's important to remember that it's not just okay to fail, but it should be expected when you're trying to disrupt the market. Every time you fail, you find the limits of your business model and it gives you a chance to learn and pivot. 

Even the greatest researchers or business leaders will find that some of their hypotheses can't be proven or their solution doesn't solve the problem they expected. Peter Sims from Harvard Business Review wrote about Steve Job's Five Biggest Mistakes and in it there's a great quote that shows how many of the top leaders have stumbled along their way to success.

"It took Dorsey years of experimentation before he finally latched onto what ultimately became Twitter. Wendy Kopp started Teach for America, initially as a conference, on a shoestring budget after graduating from college. And Howard Schultz, while he had great foresight to recognize that Americans needed a communal coffee experience like those that existed in Europe, failed on his first try."  - P. Sims, HBR 

The take away is that when you strive to be a visionary business leader, you need to be okay with failure at some point in your career. Everyone will fail so the key is to make sure your failures are fast and cheap. If you are successful in measuring your hypotheses and outcomes and then are able to show what you've learned, you can expect to get your executives and investors on board for higher-risk and higher-growth opportunities.