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Disrupt Yourself, With a New Introduction by Whitney Johnson

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6

Give Failure Its Due

Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.

—Auguste Rodin

You started a company and it went belly up. You launched a new product and not only did it fail to sell, customers actually hated it. You got fired. What happens when you dare to disrupt yourself and then your progress flatlines—or you’re tossed off the curve altogether? What then?

There’s the plucky Henry Ford quotation, which, admittedly, I have used: “Failure is only the opportunity more intelligently to begin again.” Since Ford was eventually wildly successful, this aphorism does reassure me, but it also jauntily skips over the emotional, psychological, and practical complexity of failure. My failures range from the mundane—not making cheerleader ...

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