Productivity Protips: How to Harness the Negative Power of Failure To Reach Your Goals

Everyone should keep in mind the concept of “fail faster” at all times. You should always work with the concept of hoping to fail faster, as it’ll help you learn, evolve, and in the end, develop better products. Every idea envisioned is never without its set of flaws, and “fail faster” helps to reach your goal by trying various approaches and course-correcting along the way by getting rid of unproductive ideas and implementing newer and better ideas. This constant focus on action helps you to learn from your mistakes and gives you more experience while making sure that you do not repeat the same follies the second time around.

The concept of failing faster is built on the logic that no idea is objectively good or bad from the get-go, and sometimes even the wackiest of ideas turn out be bestsellers while the most logical of ideas turn out to be duds. A good example of this logic is the game Mario, whose high level premise is the fact that its plumber protagonist is high on drugs, or even the game Sonic, whose logic is an electric blue hedgehog wearing sneakers that can run with super speed. These ideas, while sound terrible and crazy at first, have a great execution, which has made them bestsellers in their respective genres. This execution is only possible due to the fact that these ideas have been iterated over and over again until its flaws have been removed with the help of the fail faster mantra.

Any plan is better than no plan at all, as it gives a direction and lets you improve it over a time period. Even though your plan may be unsuccessful at the end, it gives you valuable insights on where you went wrong and helps you to avoid those mistakes the second time around making your idea better. Many teams decide on an idea by getting stuck on the pre-planned phase, and not starting until they feel that the idea they have come upon is the best one. But ultimately, as every idea has its own flaws, their idea starts showing its flaws too, which makes them to work on correcting it instead of iterating on a prototype. This may lead to a huge waste of manpower and energy if you try to create “the perfect idea”. It may lead to the project either failing in the market or not releasing at all.

Even if you have an incomplete project that’s half-baked, start by making a rough sketch of your project and hand it over to people to get their honest opinions on the same. The more opinions you get, the more it helps you to iterate the plan and make it better and finally to a point where it would make an awesome product. It is essential that you fail during the start of the project as it would give you more room for correction as well as more time, both of which are crucial for a project’s success or failure. Make sure you have a prototype as soon as possible in order to iterate on it and improve on its flaws. The prototype should be as quick and dirty as possible, and should focus on the core deliverable from the product. Last but not the least, failing faster helps you go beyond your egos and ideas and gives you a more pragmatic look at the project.

Important Takeaways: Failing faster means, quite overtly, failing as fast as you can — you’ll be able to course correct and save a lot of energy and money in the process. Failing doesn’t always have to have a negative connotation. Keep in mind, every failure is an opportunity for success and the sooner you fail, the better you have a chance of getting back on the right track. Look at failure as one of the pit stops on your journey towards success, and you’ll learn a lot faster.