Wednesday, March 27, 2013

You Learn More From Failure Than Success.

Scanning through a science report data base, I came across the results of a study that concludes something experienced business owners surely would agree on:  "While success is surely sweeter than failure, it seems failure is a far better teacher, and organizations that fail spectacularly often flourish more in the long run."

". . .failure is a far better teacher."

This according to Vinit Desai, assistant professor of management at the University of Colorado Denver Business School in a study published in the Academy of Management Journal back in 2010.  Working with Peter Madsen, assistant professor at BYU School of Management, Desai found that organizations not only learned more from failure than success, they retained that knowledge longer.

"Whenever you have a failure it causes a company to search for solutions and when you search for solutions it puts you as an executive in a different mindset, a more open mindset," said Desai. 

Neophyte entrepreneurs may fear failure, and yes, failure in the early days of an enterprise can put it out of business, but failure is the norm in business as in life.  If you're planning a new business start-up, assume that some things will go wrong.  That's normal.  It's best you assume that your business will survive most failures, all the stronger for your experience.  As the researchers state in their conclusions: 
"Leaders should treat failures as invaluable learning opportunities, encouraging the open sharing of information about them."
I only have one question. 

If failure makes you smarter, why ain't I a genius?

*  *  *  *  *
The Entrepreneur's Bookshelf ~
The more you know about small business management and financing before you start, the more likely you are to succeed.  That's why I urge anyone thinking of starting a business to contact their local Small Business Development Center or Community College.  I have also organized this bookshelf for you at Powell's Books, the world's largest single site new and used bookstore, featuring the latest books on small business start-ups, marketing, and small business money management.   
A Selection Related to this Post:


 Click here to see all selections ~

*  * * * *

Story Source:  University of Colorado Denver (2010, August 24). Organizations learn more from failure than success, study finds; Knowledge gained from failure lasts longer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 26, 2013.


  1. I really believe that we learn many more from failure than success in business. Failure in business can help to learn that what things you need to avoid and what to apply for getting success in business.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.