Suckin’ at Something…

“Every winner begins as a loser,” …But not every failure leads to success…It turns out that trying again and again only works if you learn from your previous failures. The idea is to work smart, not hard. ‘You have to figure out what worked and what didn’t, and then focus on what needs to be improved instead of thrashing around and changing everything,’ says Wang. ‘The people who failed didn’t necessarily work less [than those who succeeded]. They could actually have worked more; it’s just that they made more unnecessary changes.’

[A] key indicator (besides keeping the stuff that works and focusing on what doesn’t) is the time between consecutive failed attempts, which should decrease steadily. In other words, the faster you fail, the better your chances of success, and the more time between attempts, the more likely you are to fail again. “If someone has applied for a grant and they are three failures in,” Wang says, “if we just look at the timing between the failures, we will be able to predict whether they will eventually succeed or not.”

-David Noonan, “Failure Found to Be an “Essential Prerequisite” for Success.” Scientific American. October 30, 2019.

Or, to put it another way, a focus on process produces better outcomes.