Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Love thy Failure as Thyself

James Dyson, inventor of new-fangled vacuum cleaners, wrote a book about his struggles to create a better vacuum called "Against The Odds".

The blog Signal vs. Noise writes about it here.

A Dyson quote it references from an article in Fast Company:
I made 5127 prototypes of my vacuum before I got it right. There were 5126 failures. But I learned from each one. Thatís how I came up with a solution. So I donít mind failure. Iíve always thought that schoolchildren should be marked by the number of failures theyíve had. The child who tries strange things and experiences lots of failures to get there is probably more creativeÖ

Weíre taught to do things the right way. But if you want to discover something that other people havenít, you need to do things the wrong way. Initiate a failure by doing something thatís very silly, unthinkable, naughty, dangerous. Watching why that fails can take you on a completely different path. Itís exciting, actually. To me, solving problems is a bit like a drug. Youíre on it, and you canít get off.
We're a culture obsessed with success. In general, the creative people who succeed -- be they inventors, musicians, photographers, puppeteers, writers, filmmakers, singers, actors, artists or whatever -- are the ones who keep trying, revising, practicing, and failing over and over.

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posted by Brian at 3:15 PM

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