Archive for June, 2014

Business Insight – Determined to fail

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Determined to fail!
By Roger La Salle

Follow your dreams – well maybe?
Delighted though we may be to read of successful entrepreneurs, inventors and overnight millionaires there is a need to moderate these success stories with a touch of reality.

Unfortunately too many commentators are urging people to follow their dreams and advising persistence at all costs. We are told that success is hard won but persistence always pays in the end.

I can even relate to a story of a long time friend who took this message so serious that he actually thought that in some way is was axiomatic that if you go through really tough times then the good times would necessarily follow. Unfortunately today this man is far from wealthy, though I am pleased to say sanguine about his past exploits, notwithstanding continued failures.

What are the odds?
The real fact is that for each success story we read about there are 10,000 that have tried and failed and when it comes to IT and Smartphone Apps etc, the numbers are even more horrifying. Virtually every IT geek in the universe is working to find the next killer App, occasionally of course there is a success story and naturally that is trumpeted far and wide and this message inspires us to keep trying, as we should but beware the pitfalls.

Trying to make your fortune with the next big thing whether it is a product, service or an App probably has odds somewhat akin to a big win in the lottery. Perhaps the only difference is that in the case of entrepreneurial endeavours we like to think we have some input and can thus influence the outcome. In an ideal world this may be the case but the problem is, once we fall in love with our idea, as most entrepreneurs do, objectivity often disappears with decisions being emotionally driven and persistence and passion the ingredients of endeavour.

Too often costly disasters follow, disasters that we never hear of. Unsurprisingly we are only told of the success stories and it’s these that of course inspire and fuel our efforts.

Are large Corporates somewhat “slothful”?
An interesting comparison can be drawn between inspired entrepreneurs and executives in large companies. Too often we hear stories of entrepreneurs frustrated with what they consider to be breathtaking ideas ignored or discredited by big business executives. Oh how they pour scorn on these seemingly unmotivated “fat-cats”. Notwithstanding that, I too have suffered at the hands of such executives, however, in their defence we need to realise that in most cases it is the decision making skills of these people that won them their position in the first place. These people are close to their business and “know the ropes”, the risks and the costs and difficulty in embracing breathtaking new ideas. Not only can brave new ideas be a risk to their business but also in some cases being a champion of a new idea can be a risk to a career. The trouble is, we are seldom privy to all the decision drivers.

What’s the message?
The message is simple. No amount of persistence will turn a dog into a star. There comes a time when it is best to discard an idea and move on to the next, there are millions of new ideas and opportunities out there and if you remain skilfully vigilant you just may find one.

Perhaps the following best sums up this thinking:

Persistence is an important element of success
Persistence is an essential element of failure.

**** END ****

Roger La Salle, is the creator of the “Matrix Thinking”™ technique and is widely sought after as an international speaker on Innovation, Opportunity and business development. He is the author of four books, Director and former CEO of the Innovation Centre of Victoria (INNOVIC) as well as a number of companies both in Australian and overseas. He has been responsible for a number of successful technology start-ups and in 2004 was a regular panellist on the ABC New Inventors TV program. In 2005 he was appointed to the “Chair of Innovation” at “The Queens University” in Belfast. Matrix Thinking is now used in more than 26 countries and licensed to Deloitte, one of the world’s largest consulting firms.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend