It is understable to be wanting to learn from winners. To look up to them as if they were demi-god, to try to absorb all of their practices, strategies, tactics, to susped our disbelief when reading of their heroic feats, to become at times obsessed with their words and spread them as if they were ours.
The fact is that we all start from wanting to win.
One of the things about failure is that it’s asymmetrical with respect to time. When you look back and see failure, you say, “it made me what I am!” But looking forward, you think, “I don’t know what is going to happen and I don’t want to fail.” The difficulty is that when you’re running an experiment, it’s forward looking. We have to try extra hard to make it safe to fail.
Ed Catmull, interview
We have much more to learn from reflecting on mistakes and failures than we have from tacitly assimilate what others, in different circumstances, have done to succeed.
Let’s look at winners, by all means. And let’s also look at what they did wrong, how they overcame difficult situations, how they woke up and lived the day after. And then, let’s look at those who are stuck there, who have started ten companies with no successful exit, let’s attempt to understand how they cope, what motivates them, and let’s reward them for keep trying.
Winning is the easy bit. I want to hear about losers.