Faithful Failures

Faithful Failures

When you know it's going to fail...

Flog a dead horse and you'll waste a lot of energy for nothing. Call a dead horse dead and you can walk away to find a living horse.

What's dead? What's not moving? We always asked ourselves the question, "What's not working? Ok, let's call it what it is.”

What's not moving will always faithfully do just that—not move. You'll never be surprised by it, unless there's something miraculous that happens or some drastic shock therapy. But even then, you have to call it what is. "This is dead."

So what do you do when you know it's not going to work and you know there'll be disaster?

One time we had to axe a big project. Here's what we had to do:

  • Admit that it wasn't working (hardest part of all).
  • Call everyone who was a partner and the people we owed money to (that was almost as hard).
  • Shut it down properly.
  • Move on to something that was moving.

It was hard. But, it would have been harder to carry on. And, other dreams were able to move faster because nothing was dragging us down.

Some dead things come back to life. But it's normally a major intervention.

Here's what to remember:

  • Nothing is ever wasted. What you learn from the dead horse can help you keep the others from dying.
  • If you stop flogging it, then you'll have a ton more energy to do new things.
  • Its feelings will not be hurt. Only yours. Remember, the horse is dead! No feelings!
  • If it's not dead, then consider the cost of reviving it. These are often too high.

We've seen many people hold onto good ideas, but dead ones. They’re waiting for a big break and a big investor. Investors are never keen on something that is dead. There's gotta be at least a trot going on.

Dead horses don’t win races.

Business equestrian lesson over.


(photo via pereztp)