Buried among all of the articles surrounding Steve Job’s resignation, I found this interesting post in the National Review. Basically, the post notes that Steve Job’s was a successful entrepreneur because he failed so often.
Actually, as I think about all of the entrepreneurial characteristics that are most salient to success, an entrepreneur’s ability to “fail upward” seems to be the best predictor of subsequent success. This is something that I see many investors and hiring managers use as a primary criteria. Has a person overcome a failure? But, what it is about managing failure that is predictive?
It strikes me that failure provides a number of challenges to a person, and it is in the overcoming of these challenges that personalities are formed and strategies for success are created. It is not the failure in itself that matters – it is what the person learns from the failure. But, what does an entrepreneur learn from failure other than “gee, I won’t do that again?”