“If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.”
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”
These quotes of failure (from Woody Allen, Thomas Edison, and Samuel Beckett, respectively) have been popularized for a reason. And that reason is failure is the route to success.
That said, failing stinks. And failing stings. But if you have the stomach for it, nearly all the failure experts agree: you should fail early, fail often, and fail better.
And now, here are your CEO Tweets of the Week (more than one of which covers failure and failing):
1. Dick Branson points to new research showing that just about everyone (that is, 96 percent of us) agrees that one day the office will be obsolete and we will all be working from home or from Starbucks. The study also shows that 76 percent of us want to work more often from home or from Starbucks but can’t—because our bosses won’t allow it.
2. Megan McArdle is on the road and web talking and writing about her new book, The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success, which, judging by excerpts and reviews, you shouldn’t fail to read. The following are the last two sentences of a fascinating piece about failure McArdle recently wrote for Bloomberg.
3. This tale of failure and epic success should inspire you (or, at least, give you a bad case of AppEnvy): In 2009, Brian Acton interviewed with Facebook but did not receive a job offer from the firm. Five years later (earlier this week, in fact), Acton sold WhatsApp, a company he co-founded, to Facebook for $19 billion.
4. Last week, Sallie Krawcheck took issue with Barbie appearing in SI's latest Swimsuit Issue. And this week the doll’s in the news because she has a new career, which apparently is just the latest in a long line of careers that the plastic long-legged blond has had. From Entrepreneur magazine: “The iconic fashion doll has held more than 150 careers during her reign, many of them ceiling breakers. She was an astronaut before any American, male or female, had landed on the moon. She became president in 1992, a title we’re still waiting for a real-life woman to share [though, according to latest polls, the wait might soon be over] … Really, the entrepreneur doll seems the latest evolution of the career doll that’s been part of the line since 1963. With nearly 8.6 million female business owners, it’s not a stretch that the new career for women is one she forges herself.”
5. I couldn’t agree more with the words of Mr. Gates, the world's second wealthiest man.
*A previous version of this post inaccurately noted that with respect to Bill Gates' tweet, "if you look very closely on the upper left-hand corner of the image [Mr. Gates] links to, [Mr. Gates] is the brightest blue spot on the map." In fact, it is population density, and not income, that positively correlates with brightness on the map.
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Go Ahead, Let Your Kids Fail (Bloomberg)
The WhatsApp Guy Applied to Work at Facebook in 2009. They Rejected Him. (Slate)
Facebook Buying WhatsApp For $19B, Will Keep The Messaging Service Independent (TechCrunch)
Introducing Entrepreneur Barbie (Entrepreneur)