An interesting concept I learned from Clay Shirky’s “Here Comes Everybody” is how the internet now enables a ‘publish first, filter later’ mentality. Which means that most people are launching new ideas, business models, websites, etc. all the time even though many of them never really take off. But it’s kind of okay if they don’t work because it didn’t really cost anything to launch them in the first place.
In the olden days (a couple of years ago) you had to have everything exactly right before you launched a new initiative, or wrote a book, or created a video because you had some significant transaction costs associated with producing something. So companies and individuals had limited opportunities for implementing changes based on funding. But now, with low transaction costs, you can produce practically anything from your home office.
So that’s what people are doing. And if it doesn’t work, big deal, I can produce something again tomorrow. And whatever I produced that didn’t work, it just sits out there on the internet getting filtered by search engines. There are millions of items out there that have probably never been seen by anyone. (Like this blog.)
This low cost of failure allows people and corporations to try more things and new ideas without the risk of sunk costs. With no risk, the only thing stopping you is your belief that you can do it.
So believe, and produce. Eventually, one of your ideas is going to be wildly successful.
One reply on “Low Cost of Failure”
One of my biggest challenges is the huge divide between my books, which really ought to be ‘done’ when they’re done, and my blogging and real-life classes, which are always a work in progress.
I used to work for a slightly off-kilter chap who got at least one thing right: if he saw someone standing around, he’d yell “Do SOMETHING!”
So, even when I know it won’t be perfect, I try to do *something.*