The discussion about a culture of failure and its absence in the last week has also reached politics and the general public in Germany with the fury of FDP party leader Lindner in the state parliament of NRW. What conclusions can we draw from this?

From a small mistake to a great success: the fail-forward principle

Mockery and malice for the failed

Lindner criticized in his Redethat in many places entrepreneurs are still met with ridicule and malice for sure can be if their ideas and mark projects as bankrupt. This also appears more and more strongly within the discourse Concept of the “Fail Forward” in the foreground.

Roughly translated, this means “failing forward” or rather: learning from mistakes. But what does fail forward mean, how can entrepreneurs make this their own and what are the real benefits of failure?

Nothing ventured nothing gained

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This old adage still applies in times of up-and-coming startups, because if you never try something and risk it, there is a high probability that it will remain Success denied. Entrepreneurs should not just think of failure as possible or probable. Instead, you should definitely assume that you will make mistakes and experience setbacks.

What is important here is the basic attitude, the culture of failure. If failures are seen as an opportunity, analyzed and the right conclusions drawn, it hurts a little less and new possibilities become visible. in the Companys It is precisely the management team that has to exemplify this culture.

Try to be experimental

Seeing mistakes as opportunities sounds easier than it is. Above all, if failures are not reflected upon, success remains mere coincidence. Mistakes should therefore be allowed or even encouraged, but only if you learn from them. The analysis of why something didn't work and that Things to Learn from it, are indispensable on the way to success. Especially companies of the digital Industry, who work primarily with data, are pioneers here. They test almost everything in what they call AB testing before it's released.

In the test, two light tried different variants. That's how you get fast feedback on which is the better version and can apply what has been learned to future projects. In order to be able to draw useful conclusions, the two variants should only differ minimally. This is the only way to make it clear which is the determining one Success factor was - and after an AB test may not be over yet. Only through constant testing and adaptation does a promising product emerge.

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Minimize risk

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Will be a big one Projects into small steps shared with testing and adjustments, this also minimizes the overall risk of failure. It is true that small mistakes have to be made again and again, but the effect of each individual mistake is small and what has been learned is extremely valuable.

Companies that, for example, only relaunch a website once a year do a bigger one Risks one that the new version doesn't arrive than one that makes many small changes throughout the year.

Agility and communication

Of course, AB tests and their evaluation take time. However, the time required for adjustments of small partial aspects is clear lower and more targeted than the adaptation of a complete large-scale project. Entrepreneurs remain agile and close to their needs customers. At Shutterstock, for example, we work with two-week sprints in which the project teams work on ideas and then present them to the entire company, including the CEO and CFO.

And precisely here lies another important aspect: feedback and Communication. In this round, experienced and newbies can Background exchange and constructive for Solution and contribute to optimization. Of course, positive feedback is also extremely motivating and sometimes the project of one individual becomes a matter close to the heart of many.

Ob Startups or large corporation, anyone who relies on the culture of failure will ultimately be faster than the competition - even if it often takes one or two attempts to succeed.

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