Enough With the Failure / by Dan Weingrod

I got my Monday morning email from FastCo Design and the first thing I saw was this title: 

Wanna Create A Great Product? Fail Early, Fail Fast, Fail Often

Which means that I almost immediately deleted it.

This whole celebration of the joys of failure has become just a bit of a cult lately. I mean we don't go out and tell our clients we're going to fail, tell our kids to fail in school and cheer for our favorite team when they fail miserably on the field.

The funny thing is that when I did, against my better judgement, actually click through I found was this great piece by Jeremy Jackson of Method about prototyping.

So why wasn't the title:

Wanna Create A Great Product? Prototype Early, Prototype Fast, Prototype Often

I recognize that maybe prototyping isn't as sexy or cathartic a word as failure. It doesn't quite jump off the page in the same way, but at least it's a much more positive word to describe the kind of processes and thinking that need to happen to make great products. Celebrating failure feels to me like a kind of artistic vanity while celebrating prototyping is about going out there and making stuff happen.

Would we rather prototype our way to success or fail our way to success?