A recent newsmagazine show featured a look inside Facebook headquarters and visible in the background was a sign on a whiteboard that said, "Fail Faster". This is great advice for entrepreneurs and start ups. And it's hard advice to take. Hence Facebook's reminder posted for all to see.
Recognize that It's Fear
Fear and fear of failing are part of human nature. We're trained to be well prepared when we take on tasks and no one wants to get up then fail or fall down in front of others.
This is why public speaking ranks so high on lists of things that give people anxiety. Fear of failure is deeply ingrained. Hence the go-to-work-in-my-underwear dreams.
But It's Practice that Makes Perfect
But "being thorough" and "getting it right" has a sinister downside for bootstrappers. It can mask underlying fear of getting out there and not getting it right. And failing. And these delays and procrastinations can have serious consequences.
Many times start-ups feel pressures of time and money because they spend too much time perfecting the details rather than rolling out the product. Putting out a quality product is important, "one chance to make a first impression" and all that, but so is throwing a lot "stuff" at the wall and seeing what sticks.
Don't Know Until You Try
It's essential to get something out there to see if it works in the real world. Think of it not so much as failure but as market research and getting the customer's point of view.
After all, if it's customer satisfaction you crave, it won't happen until a dialogue gets going.
Most of us know these familiar truisms, however fear of failure and the related desire to put forth our best work are deep-seated.
As Leonard Cohen sings,
Ring the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There is a crack in everything That's how the light gets in
So to break the cycle and get to practice and success faster, heed the sign at Facebook and "Fail Faster"