15 Accept When Failure Is Really Failure


Author Sydney Finkelstein recently wrote an article in which he outlined several factors that contributed to the dot-com collapse of 2000– 2001.28 Among those was an apparent overly positive embrace of failure as an end in itself. Finkelstein points out that the assumption that failure will necessarily lead to learning is not always true. Many Internet company executives, especially young and inexperienced ones, developed a cavalier attitude toward failure, taking actions that were quite harmful to their firms. From Finkelstein’s view, real failure, rather than adaptive long-term-oriented learning, was the dominant result.

Throughout this book I have tried to make it clear that what we call failure ...

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