Chapter 4

Design to Fail


We can’t avoid being wrong. The real questions are how wrong are we and how long do we take to find out? Instead of refining ideas and trying to make those ideas “succeed,” PrD advises us to purposefully manufacture failures and, by failing quickly, to learn about the problem space at hand. In this chapter, we discuss the importance of failing as a strategy of problem exploration, as well as the attributes of a “successful failure.”


intelligent failure
sacrificial concepts

Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

—Samuel Beckett


In this chapter we focus on the first principle of PrD: Design to Fail. As we introduced in Part 1, PrD rests on a fundamental shift in thinking and process: beginning ...

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