Fail often, fail fast, fail cheap

From Slashdot News Story | Jimmy Wales’ Theory of Failure

‘Fail Often, Fail Early’ Is Not Just Wales’ Mantra (Score:5, Insightful)

by eldavojohn (898314) * <my/.username@@@gmail.com> on Saturday February 20, @09:16AM (#31209820)
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This is a really old mantra in the business world that I was indoctrinated with when I partook in R&D for a Fortune 500 company.

Oh, and everyone’s got their own version of it [businessweek.com]. I’ve heard people correct me when I said “Fail Early, Fail Often” and they say that the order matters. But you’ll hear three concepts in these phrases:

  • Fail frequently. This can also be said “fail often” and simply means “accept a lot of failures.”
  • Fail early. Don’t invest a lot of time into what you’re failing at and just accept the failure and move on. Just as long as you don’t get hung up failing all the time (like Wales said). Also have heard it said as “fail fast.”
  • Fail cheap. This might be derived from ‘fail early’ as time is money. But this is the third optional part you’ll hear from investors and businessmen.

So the ultimate incarnation I’ve heard of this is “Fail often, fail fast, fail cheap.”

Now for the warning: if you take this too much to heart, you see people axing everything. And from the technical point of view, it sucks. And is demoralizing. Another thing is you get really really sick of hearing it and just being the silver bullet response to “why can’t I do X?”

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