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Failing Up - Creating a Failsafe Environment


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My presentation from the TomTom product development forum. A talk on why failure is important in innovation and tips on how to create en environment where the effects of failure are minimized while maximizing the learning.

Published in: Leadership & Management

Failing Up - Creating a Failsafe Environment

  1. 1. Failing Up Kevin Goldsmith VP Engineering ConsumerAlliance Lead
  2. 2. Invention requires failure
  3. 3. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new” Albert Einstein
  4. 4. “Failure is success training.” Kevin Smith
  5. 5. Creating a fail-safe environment
  6. 6. Fail Smart
  7. 7. Minimize the blast radius "we want to be an internal combustion engine, not a fuel-air bomb. Many small controlled explosions propelling us in a generally ok direction, not a huge blast levelling halfthe city” - Mikael Krantz
  8. 8. Fail fast Find the fastest, cheapest path to learning.
  9. 9. the lesson of clippy
  10. 10. “If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.” Thomas J. Watson
  11. 11. Do not punish failure punish not learning from failure
  12. 12. Extract the lessons from failure ‣ yourprocess ‣ yourteam ‣ yourperceptionofyourcustomers ‣ yourunderstandingofyourproduct ‣ yourself Eachfailuretellsyousomethingabout
  13. 13. Catalog the lessons Create a shared repository ofthe lessons learned.
  14. 14. Catalog the lessons Failures hidden or forgotten are failures that will be repeated.
  15. 15. “The most creative people — and companies — don’t have lower failure rates, they fail faster and cheaper, and perhaps learn more from their setbacks, than their competitors.” Bob Sutton
  16. 16. Making failure safer
  17. 17. Minimize the cost of failure
  18. 18. Investment Investment Time Think it Build it Ship it Tweak it
  19. 19. Investment Investment Time Think it Build it Ship it Tweak it
  20. 20. Investment Investment Time Think it Build it Ship it Tweak it Paper Prototypes UI Mockups User Testing MVP Employee Testing Gradual Rollout A/B Testing User Testing Analytics Validation A/B Testing User Testing Analytics ValidationBeta
  21. 21. Expect failure all the time
  22. 22.
  23. 23. Small systems have small failures Smaller/Micro Services, loosely connected, mean smaller failures
  24. 24. Take your time Roll new things out overtime, watch how your users react, watch how your systems scale, watch your customer service queues, watch your analytics, watch your crash logs.
  25. 25. “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently” Henry Ford
  26. 26. Questions? @KevinGoldsmith