Don’t try to learn from failure

Excerpt (edited) from You Can’t Learn from Failure, You Can Only Learn from Success by Jerry Neuman:

Any complicated system is too complicated to learn from failure. Yes, you can learn a few tricks, like: “don’t spend all your money on fancy chairs” or “don’t hire your college drinking buddies as EVPs of Business Development.” But all you can learn from failure is to avoid that particular kind of failure. And so what? There are too many other kinds of failure for that to make any difference. You need to learn from success. You should be spending your time trying to learn from success.

The successful entrepreneurs I have known have had the ability to look at a failure, any failure, and pull out the couple of things that were done right. These are what they focused on.

If you’re going to learn from failure you need to learn how to avoid every possible way you can fail. It’s a waste of your time. You only need to learn one way to succeed.

7 thoughts on “Don’t try to learn from failure

  1. “Lessons Learned” initiatives at larger companies seem to focus on failures (pitfalls, errors, and how to avoid them). However, is this appropriate given they’re focused on mitigating risk vs. driving growth?

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  4. From Seth Godin in a similar vein: “The problem with problems is that they always keep us from focusing on opportunities, on a chance to contribute and to make something better. Focus on our opportunities doesn’t mean the problems don’t exist, it merely means that we are far more likely to do something that matters.”

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  6. Pingback: Stop beating yourself up | A Founder's Notebook

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