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Sam Davidson's blog

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Celebrate Your Failures

Google taught us dreamers all a valuable lesson yesterday. They announced they're shuttering their Wave program at the end of the year. I've never used Wave, so I can't comment as to how shocked or elated this makes me, but the point is this: big boys and girls know when it's time to stop something. If you want to be successful long-term, so should you.

The full analysis from TechCrunch and a video of CEO Eric Schmidt is here. The best quote?

We celebrate our failures.

Figure out what you're not doing well and stop it. Focus on what you are doing well and do it some more. Take appropriate risks. Measure everything.

This goes along with Penelope Trunk's post today about how to find good ideas for startups.

She says, "No idea is precious. If it's bad, just move on to the next one." Brilliant. So many startups and entrepreneurs stay married to an idea or a dream when it's time for a divorce. And many dreamers out there never chase the right one (or even get a chance to) because they're stuck trying to force an old one to work.

Sometimes, we need the remnants of a shattered dream to best build a new one that has hope and promise of becoming a reality.

This week, Stephen and I began dreaming again about Cool People Care. Our little (and growing) company turns four years old this month. We asked ourselves, "If we were to launch the company today, what would we do? What would we build? What would content and distribution look like?" We decided to put everything on the table.

Come January 1, Cool People Care will look a lot different. We're going to abandon a few things that we've always loved because they don't work as well as they did in 2007. It's a little sad. But it's even more exciting.

This coincides with the fact that I filed paperwork to start a new company last week. You'll hear more about it in September. It's part of a dream I've had for the last two years and just now the pieces are coming together to make it happen. And if it doesn't happen? If we fail?

Great. I'll celebrate that.

And I'll move on to the next thing.

People who try a lot fail a lot. And people who fail a lot succeed a lot. That's how it happens. No one hits home runs every trip to the plate. No one cranks out memorable tunes every time they go into the studio. But the best hitters and rappers remember every at bat and every track, even the terrible ones.

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. - Colin Powell

Two other posts I've written on failure:

  1. Knowing When to Quit
  2. The Odds of Failure