The Art of Failing Fast

If you want to achieve a lot in life, sometimes the secret is to stop trying so hard and to put out lower quality work.

Wait… what?

That’s not what they told you at school right? And it probably goes against pretty much everything you’ve been brought up to believe as well. But in fact it is very often the case when it comes to really being successful so let’s take a look at why.

What it Means to Fail Fast

What I’m talking about here is ‘failing fast’. In business, this means creating your ‘minimal viable product’ or your ‘MVP’ and releasing that as quickly as possible. So a company will create a product that is really sub-par in many ways and that certainly could be better and then they’ll release ten more. In the same time another company that doesn’t take the fail fast approach might only release a single product that’s much better quality.

Why is it better in some cases to release things that you don’t really think are the best they could possibly be?

Well it comes down to the fact that these ‘minimal viable products’ require smaller investment and allow you to get something out the door faster. That means that you can beat the competition to market and it means that you don’t lose out on such a big investment as you otherwise might do. More importantly, it means you can quickly release something else again next week as well.

As a result you’ll be able to rapidly test the market and get an idea for whether or not people want to buy your product. If you get lots of interest and lots of sales then you know that it’s worth your while to invest even more time and even more effort into that particular version because there’s a market there to buy it. If you don’t get any interest? You move on, having taking the minimal financial hit. Meanwhile, the company that invested all their time, effort and money on creating one fantastic product might risk that product failing and costing them huge amounts, possibly ending the business.

Applying it to Life

The ‘fail fast’ technique can also be applied to other areas of your life. Basically this means releasing a ‘beta’ version into the public and you can do this in all kinds of situations.

For instance, if you’re in a bar and you want to get someone to go home with someone attractive, then instead of spending all night staring at one person, instead try smiling at as many people as possible. Some people will look the other way, but when someone finally smiles back, then you can go over and invest the time.

See what other areas you can apply the fail fast approach to!

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Why You Should Keep Trying

If you keep on trying at something then you can never ‘fail’. Failure only happens when you give up, as otherwise all that’s happened is

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