Celebrate Your Failures

Last week Google announced that their product called WAVE would be dropped, just 6 months after its birth. What was interesting about this announcement was that Google said “We celebrate our failures.”

This is a smart core value for a business to have. Last I checked, Google was not only immensely profitable, but also one of the most popular workplaces in America. Perhaps this comes as no surprise. Lots of companies talk about innovation, yet how many of them allow a project group to fail without some form of punishment or reprimand? Any company that creates an atmosphere of innovation and creativity must expect failures. It is part of the game.

According to the Guardian.co.uk, Chief executive Eric Schmidt said of the Wave failure that it is just a symptom of trying things out. “Remember, we celebrate our failures. This is a company where it’s absolutely OK to try something that’s very hard, have it not be successful, and take the learning from that”.

Taking the learning from failure

As an executive coach, I have been trained to work with clients in order to help them to achieve their goals faster while enjoying the process more fully. The concept is called Forward the Action & Deepen the Learning. This means that I look for ways to help speed their progress towards achieving their goals, while at the same time deepening the learning from the process. When you fail at something, there is great learning to be had if you are willing to search for it. If you failed miserably then you can surely waste a lot of time feeling bad and defeated. Yes, there is a time for that, but afterwards if you stay with those thoughts then you will just be stuck there. A more powerful perspective is to focus on what you were trying to achieve and why you were trying to achieve it. For example, if your relationship failed, then instead of focusing on why it failed, focus rather on what you desired in the first place.

Google cancelled the WAVE product, but announced that they plan to utilize the core functionality in future products. “I’d file this under ideas that were just a little ahead of their time.“ said Schmidt. Being ahead of their time does not mean that the ideas were bad ideas. It only means that Google will have to try again in order to succeed with them. I suspect that they will. That is the kind of company that Google is.

What are some of the failures you have had in your own life or as an entrepreneur? What have these failures taught you?  There is a beautiful poem by Andre Bjerke called Amor Fati in which he writes “Your worst defeats are rich gifts laid in your hands”.

What gifts have been given to you in the form of defeat and failure?

Want to turn-around your business and achieve results in record time? Contact me to discuss Executive Coaching, Group Facilitation and Management for Hire services for technology companies. You can learn more at www.ricksalmon.comwww.xelerator.com and at www.e-unlimited.com.
Rick Salmon is an energetic entrepreneur who lives in Norway and believes that European startup companies can succeed and grow quickly if only they get the proper help and assistance. Subscribe to this newsletter/blog to receive frequent updates and tips.