I can think of several things we’ve tried recently at Terracotta that failed, either in the small due to implementation or in the large due to it just being a bad idea. I see this failure as spectacular success!
Innovation does not occur without regular doses of FAIL. Innovation means walking back and forth over the edge of the known probing new places to go. Sometimes you fall off. But when you don’t, you find great things.
I get worried when we’re not failing. When everything works out just like we hoped, we’re not pushing hard enough. For an innovative software company, safe is dead. I want people to be trying crazy shit that will never work, cause holy crap what if 1 in 10 actually does? The key is to have an environment where innovation is
required and to expect that innovation means that some healthy percentage of things we try don’t work out. That has to be understood throughout the company as the flip side of the innovation coin.
Over the course of the last year, we’ve hired a bunch of insanely smart and capable engineers and things feel like they’re bursting at the seams right now. It’s awesome. And terrifying. I love it. We’re all getting together next week for a full week of intense crazy stuff and the energy level should be high.