9000 Tries

Does failure = success?

“Fail fast, fail often.”  

Last year, I did just that. I co-founded a mobile app designed for walking meetings. Our team’s mission was to encourage and allow business professionals to be healthy and productive during the work day.  
We were moving fast, and what seemed like failing, often. We were ready to revolutionize the way people meet at work, but with little-to-no financial backing and full-time jobs grasping for our attention, we had to move on. 

I’m currently living in one of the largest tech startup cities in the world. I’m writing this next to Uber’s headquarters, and can hop on a Jump bike and arrive at Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Airbnb within minutes. These now household names were once tiny startups, failing fast, failing often. Fortunately for them – and their investors – this strategy worked. 

What are your thoughts on “fail fast, fail often?” Forbes calls it “foolish.” Entrepreneur says it’s all hype. Inc. says drop the mantra altogether. But it comes up all the time, during keynote sessions at industry events and in “how to start a startup” blogs. Heck, Thomas Edison failed 9000 times before his lightbulb finally clicked. 

Failure is simply defined as lack of success. If you’re doing this day in and day out, it can be pretty demoralizing. Trust me, I know. Although the app I worked on technically never succeeded, I don’t consider the time we spent on it a failure. We believed strongly in something and took a risk. I look back on that time and am proud of what we accomplished with the resources we had. Maybe one day – and 9000 tries later – we’ll “succeed.”

If “fail fast, fail often” works for anyone, it’s digital print shops. You can print new applications with different colors and various sizes on rigid to roll media as fast and as often as you’d like with your wide-format machines. To me, that’s not failure, but experimentation – a positive and exciting venture for your employees and your clients. So go ahead and experiment purposefully, reflect on what you’ve learned, and find the best way to create innovative prints and installs. I look forward to seeing, and covering, your success.

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