There is a strange phenomenon in experiencing failure that can best be explained using a sports or game analogy when it comes to competition and getting defeated. It is not the events where you might have showed up unprepared, under the weather, at your worst, or totally outmatched and you were blown out of the match that hurt. It was the ones where you gave every fiber of your mind and body, but were one moment, play, step, or jump away from winning a closely contested match.
The later are the ones that hurt the most.
The same can be said about new inventions and ideas. There is no real rulebook for a “new” idea. By “new” I don’t mean a new color to paint of the old one, or a different handle to put on the same gizmo. Line extensions are new in the sense that it will look or operate a bit different, but they are not “new” in the sense that an entirely new industry, or field of operation is opened up.
Think back to when man decided to go to the moon.
ADVERTISMENT: ambitious, intelligent and thrill seeking people wanted to get strapped into a rocket and go into outer space! apply today!
Imagine a line of people all coming together like some audition for a talent show getting interviewed for a chance to go ride in a rocket
Interviewer 1 – Do you have any experience flying in rockets?
Candidate – No, I only built model ones as a kid.
Interviewer 2- How many hours have you spent in outer space?
Candidate – None. That’s why I am applying here
Interviewer 3 – We only want people with experience.
Candidate – Experience? How? It has never been done before?
Interviewer 1- Thank you, but your attitude isn’t a good match for us.
How many times in life have you ever heard this type of conversation? You want to do something; yet, the world wants you to have the training or experience to prove you are not ignorant in what you are doing. It doesn’t mean you aren’t’ stupid, as that is simply the step beyond ignorance when someone with experience says, “that might not be a wise path.”
But with “new” ideas, you basically are always building a model and putting a rocket on a launch pad. You build the idea to the best of your knowledge and abilities. It is like the “you” show and the 3d audio, immersion and olfaction…till this day, I really have never seen nor heard what we had in the lab.
But when you go to light the fuse to allow the rocket to fly, the reality is that no one really knows what will happen – despite all your calculations, plans, redundancies and everything else.
Many rockets will explode, failing to fly. The fallout simply sucks.
This is not to say the idea of failure is something spectacular or should be condoned. It is better to say for each “new” idea, there usually will be a lot of failures until the right combination and optimization or variation comes together to get the “new” to the mass market.
Failure teaches you a great deal, yet, in today’s society – I really don’t know if people want or value experience. I heard a bunch of older Swiss bankers discussing life in the corporate world. The game really is the same, you have kingdom builders, and then a stream of young hungry bankers looking at the elders as dinosaurs and fossils that need to get out of the way of progress. Meanwhile the elder bankers have the experience with the reality of how the system works and what does and doesn’t work well not on a sheet of paper, but in their brains with actual experience.
And man continues to re-invent the wheel. Just make sure you don’t fall or fail
Before man required experience for astronauts – we sent sheep, a duck, rooster up in hot air balloons, then fruit flies, mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, cats, dogs, frogs, goldfish and monkeys into high altitude and space. How did the researchers in the interview ask, “do you have any experience in space flight?”
Guess if they nodded their head, or buzzed at a certain frequency, the interviewer said, “Great! We only want people with experience, step into that rocket over there!”
“Woof,” barked the dog
“Meow,” purred the cat
“Buzz,” went the fruit flies
“Oink oink” squealed the pig
“Ribbet,” croaked the frog
Sometimes it is simply better not to know, or have experience. If we understood the pain of failure and what it entailed – few sane people would actually try. Thankfully, people continue to dream and try.
"3, 2, 1.....we have ignition."