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The problem with ‘Failing Fast’

Over the last few years, the words ‘fail fast’ have done the rounds. Media and business experts (especially in the startup scene) mention the importance of failing fast, frequently. This is very in line with the Silicon Valley startup scene – an extreme bias to action.

Rather than choosing the path of judiciously considering activity, planning for possibilities and contingencies, and taking a measured approach to execution, the ‘fail fast’ approach is about EXECUTE NOW and THINK LATER. The ‘Fail Fast’ philosophy is underpinned by the assumption that a few failures will improve your play and head you in the right direction, rather than measured and well-planned action.

There is a positive side to the ‘failing fast’ approach. However, extremes don’t work and don’t deliver the intended outcome in business. Fact is, successful startups do not jump from failure to failure. They evolve and progress through testing and learning. And testing and learning is very different to failing fast.

So which modality are you operating in? Failing fast? Testing and Learning? Traditional? And how is it working out for you?