Censor the ‘F’ Word

One of the things I love most about our team is our willingness to try out new projects and ideas.

We were laughing at ourselves over our last team meeting, because our business philosophy sounds remarkably similar to Tony Hsieh’s approach in Zappos – Delivering Happiness:

Looking back, a lot of our (company’s) growth happened that way.  We’d just throw idea against the wall to see if they’d stick, improvise, and make it happen.

I don’t know how intentional we were about creating this as a part of our company’s culture; perhaps it’s more an extension of how we operate ourselves?  We just really love learning, growing, and creating – so our products & culture is becoming fluid as well.

And, of course, nothing is ever “done.”

That used to freeze me & keep me operating at a much lower efficiency, because I personally believed everything needed to be scripted & immaculate before moving forward.  But what’s so ingenious about my team’s “see what sticks” method?

It obliterates that dreaded “F” word: Failure.

The idea of “failing” has such a feeling of finality, and the way we operate is always in motion.  Nothing’s ever done.

Sure, products have lifecycles, but the second our business stops growing is the second it starts dying.  Another one-liner from Tony Hsieh:

Learn by doing.  Theory is nice, but nothing replaces actual experience.

Sometimes over-planning & waiting too long is an attempt to minimize risk & rooted in a fear of failure. We’re learning that success isn’t an event either.  It’s doing what you love with people you love.

And the process is incredibly simple:

  • Get a great idea.
  • Try it out with smart people you enjoy being around.
  • Get feedback from them.
  • Course correct if necessary.

If that’s “failing” then I’m all in.