James McQuarrie is a UK based Product Leader who helps teams discover, design, build and deliver digital products and services that delight their users.
Don’t aim to fail, aim to learn what works and what doesn’t and adapt.
I’m not sure exactly where the idea started, but over the past few years it has become more and more popular to talk about aiming to fail fast when starting an online product or service. Don’t. Don’t aim to fail. That’s just dumb. I understand why some people say that and what they mean by it, but I worry that too many people will read the headline and focus on aiming to fail, rather than aiming to test an idea and understand what’s wrong with it quickly. Aiming to fail seems to me like a very negative way of approaching business and product or service development.
Instead, the message should be to concentrate on launching your product or service, seeing how it works, testing it and getting feedback on it as fast as possible. Then adapting. Learn what people want and more importantly need from your product or service and how they would like it to work and then move with your audience. Don’t aim to fail, aim to test, learn and improve. Aim to iterate fast not to fail fast.