The stuff that didn’t work 2021-02-06 14:29:14

“I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” — Thomas Edison

Regardless of the particular people you aim to serve or the types of problems you aim to solve, it remains true for all endeavors that some actions done even with the best of preparation and intentions won’t work as planned:

The marketing campaign that falls on deaf ears.

The prototype of a solution that doesn’t appear to actually be solving anything.

The call with a customer that results in both parties having more questions than answers.

To be clear though, stuff not working has nothing to do with failure because there is almost always a valuable lesson to be learned when something doesn’t work — about how to build a better marketing campaign, how to build a better and more functional prototype, or how to have better conversations.

Stuff not working
is merely the natural part of an iterative process that involves you acquiring the learnings needed in order to be able to build things that successfully create change, solve problems, and ultimately help the people you aim to serve.

William Liao

What connection creates The paradox of cost and value
There's always something that doesn't work. It's up to the individual to decide when they want to actually enter that zone. Most of us stay out of that zone and then life throws us in once in awhile, but we jump out real quick like its cold water.

Progress is about realizing that there is always a zone between the territories of it's working! and other stuff that should be working but isn't. People like Musk/Bezos/Disney simply enjoy being in that zone because that's where invention is possible and they keep expanding the territory subsequently jumping into the newly drawn zone of it's not working.

Most of us lose momentum because we get addicted to feeling good about things that are working. Most of my conversations about
centers around balancing this idea with the rest of life outside of work.

2021-02-06 17:43:48
 - what you mention about stepping into that zone of _it's not working_ makes a lot of sense.
2021-02-06 20:23:37
Love this, always believed in it. Growth mindset at its best. To build on it, just thinking out loud, if we had never really failed (because each 'failure' was just a data point), can we say we succeeded then (when we reach the objective)? Because just like failure, success feels like just another data point on what worked... quite humbling to think that.  
2021-02-08 08:15:11
I agree with you that each point in itself can't be determined as fail/success in the long run. In the long run it's just a game of self narrative. And so the big win is just a narrative you tell yourself that happens to be both honest and good.
2021-02-08 14:24:05
 that could almost be a reply to the question: "What's the meaning of life?" It's just the narrative we tell ourselves.
2021-02-09 08:06:09