Passion to Fail Fast

Ryan wrote this on December 17, 2012 in , . It has 34 reactions

Our friend Cass Phillipps knows a bit about failure. After all, she produces FailCon, a conference where leading entrepreneurs and designers speak about their own failures. So it's no surprise that she's got a story or two of her own. And she's got a good one on how failure turned into her passion.

Watch the video below and take note of how Cass took an interest in her own failure and turned it into an advantage:

Our ears perked up when Cass said:

Failure hurts. Failure hurts a lot.

She makes a good point when she says that failure becomes riskier as we get older. It no longer becomes falling off a bike, as she put it. After all, as she showed, passion is dangerous and failure is inevitable. It's easier to give up. Or is it?

Fail to Win, Not Fail to Lose

What's needed is not just passion, but passion to fail and do so fast. Before we go on, let's be clear on the type of passion and failure we're discussing.

When it comes to passion, we're talking about investing yourself fully into your craft and your ideas, even when there may only be a slim chance of a financial reward or none at all.

For failure, we're referring to the concept of fail fast, which is not a strategy for coping with defeat. Quite the opposite, in fact. It's a means to win by shedding the wrong answers quickly. The concept isn't an excuse to seek failure. In other words, it's knowing how to fall flat on your face so that you can triumph in the end.

Which brings us back to Cass and how she spoke about getting the blueprint to failure. But it's more than just studying the plans. It's dissecting them, figuring out the mechanics of why you failed and how that can speed you to a win. It's something winners have long since figured out.

After all the more you win, the more you're likely to win again. So it's not passion for failure that we're seeking. It's passion to fail fast so that we can succeed.


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