Fred Wilson tells the story in this extraordinary post of how his investment company, Union Square Ventures, missed the opportunity to invest in Airbnb, one of my favourite peer-to-peers. At the time, the founders had ideas but the service was still a marketplace for air mattresses on people's floors. It was, he says, the classic investor's mistake of focusing too much on what the business were doing at the time and "not enough on what they could do, would do, and did do".

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Let’s Talk about the Other F Word

In our society FAIL is a four-letter word.

Yet, when I gave my CU Commencement Speech, Dare to Fail, I was blown away by the conversation it started. So many people reached out with stories of their own failures and the powerful things they learned. Failure is in the air.

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How Filter Failure Contributes to Business Failure

Watch this video by Bruce Nussbaum, BusinessWeek's innovation editor and veteran employee with the company. It's a fascinating illustration of the shifts in business we are seeing in real time. Media outlets in particular have been on the front lines of this shift. As I've said many times before, the Web and its latest social iteration has introduced ultra deep and pervasive niche content and experiences which directly compete with many business models.

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Managing by Mistakes

Management gurus have often suggested that failure should be rewarded (if the individual was trying something new), or at least not punished. We all know the problems that develop when employees become fearful and conservative – creativity is stifled, and performance suffers.

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Marketing in the Matrix

Do you remember the ending of the second Matrix movie, when Neo learns that he's an anomaly in the program, and is supposed to go find Zion, or the CPU, or whatever, and mess everything up? I just figured out that this was advice on marketing strategy, courtesy of the Wachowski Brothers.


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The Conceptual Failure of Business Software and Why Nobody Bothers

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The Secret to Successful Innovation for CPG Companies Is Knowing How to Fail Early, Fail Cheaply. P&G Knows It Is Important to Master the Art of Failing.

by: Idris Mootee

Here’s another innovation from a Japan’s sake (Japanese wine) company. Japan’s younger generations tends to look at nihonshu (what they think of as Japanese sake) as “oyaji-kusai,” which translates in the nicest way possible as “reminiscent of a middle aged man.” 75% of young women aged 20-30 hardly ever drink them and the Sake Brewer’s Association is trying to to fix this. This is not just an image problem, it is also the product.

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Quantity Equals Quality if You Fail a Lot!

by: Design Translator

The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality.

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The Power of Falling

by: John Winsor

A couple of weeks ago I took a big fall while climbing a route that I was scared of and having trouble figuring out. I was about 20 feet off the ground when my feet and hands slipped at the same time sending me flying towards the ground.

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In Search of Postal Buddy - the Power of the Negative Story

by: John Caddell

Once at EDS, way back when, I worked on a really big proposal. It was one of those that got you to Hawaii if you were successful, and we were, and so I spent a memorable week in Maui.

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