Successfully Failing Social

by Jay Deragon on 08/23/2010

The word failure usually carries a negative connotation with it. Fear and failure are the usual human reactions to change. However success and failure go hand in hand to those that understand what it takes to succeed at anything, everything.

Failure can have duel reaction. A company or individual can get stuck in the fear of failure and never try anything new to move closer to success. A company or individual can also look at failure as simply a process of learning to change something that gets them closer to their definition of success.

Fear of failure is the main reason why more than 80% of people in the world are not prepared to change their circumstances. Why do people fear failure so much? The reason for this is because people don’t understand the dynamics involved in success and failure.

Today’s Social Web is an Incubator of Failures

Network operators, brands, institutions, organizations and individuals are all continuously failing to find success in the emergence of all this “social stuff”. A month or even a week doesn’t go by when a new technology creates a failure for an older technology. A blogger learns a new way to attract a larger audience pulling traffic and popularity away from another blogger. An established online community is replaced by a new community because users find more value, affinity or learning opportunities than provided by the older community.

Given the growth of adoption of all this “social stuff” what we have is a brand new dynamic of accelerated failures. Accelerated markets can shift instantly because of new technology, mass communications and the migration of swarms of “people” following dominant conversationalist using all the latest and greatest “social tools”. With the accelerated failures comes accelerated learning and the wave of knowledge lifts all conversations. Napoleon Hill once said: “Every failure, every adversity and every heartache, carries with it the seed of an equivalent or a greater benefit. Get it?

In a Business Week Cover Story titled “How Failure Breeds Success: Everyone fears failure. But breakthroughs depend on it. The best companies embrace their mistakes and learn from them they state: Coke’s Chairman and CEO E. Neville have said to his shareholders “As we take more risks, this is something we must accept as part of the regeneration process.”

“Failure’s capacity to teach is exactly why venture capitalists often look for managers to run start-ups whose resumes include experience with a flop. Gordon McCallum, CEO for Richard Branson’s Virgin Management Ltd., can point to managers within Virgin who might have been overlooked by other companies because of failures in their careers. He’s also quick to note that errors on the job, as long as they aren’t repeated, are not only supported, but valued”

Failure teaches you what works and what doesn’t. When you study the reasons for your failure and learn from it, you’ll find the key to your success. The great inventor Thomas Edison knew this truth better than anyone else. It took Edison 8000 trials to perfect the Edison battery? After-wards he uttered this famous quote, “At least we know 8000 things that don’t work”.

Do You Know What Doesn’t Work?

Einstein said the definition of insanity is” Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. As more and more businesses migrate to the social web they must learn to change everything. Applying old methods and mindsets to the new and ever changing dynamics of “social” technologies and open conversations of the “markets” could be and should be labeled as insane.

Everyone wants results and the results come from failing fast then changing methods to fail even faster. It is learning from others failures as well as your own that enables you to reach any definition of success. However, as soon as you think you’ve reached success one thing is certain, it won’t last. Every wonder why Google has failed at “social” so may times?


Problems Relationship August 25, 2010 at 12:43 am

Thanks for this post, it is helpfull to me as i need to slow down and thing about everything im doing and why these things happen to me. Thank you

TabithaEdwards (Tabitha Edwards) August 24, 2010 at 12:03 pm

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dinapo (Dina Pettersen Olsen) August 24, 2010 at 10:13 am

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AllenatCFM (Allen Howell) August 23, 2010 at 9:02 am

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RT @JDeragon: Successfully Failing Social ##socialmedia ##socialstrategy ##socialbusiness [link to post]

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DusanVrban (Dušan Vrban) August 23, 2010 at 8:13 am

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