So the blogosphere is all over GoogleX, the skunkworks ‘hub’ where only the most intractable and real problems make the cut for an ambitions group of moon-seekers – and a place where they celebrate and relish failure.
The idea that failure is good for innovation is of course nothing new; we have been banging on about celebrating failure for years. Those of us who know what it feels like to have messed up big time, or seen a dream project slip sulkily down the drain of lost hope know it is easier said than done. It is only a properly innovative, grown up company ( note: not necessarily a large one) that actually manages to deal with this stuff, never mind celebrating it. I applaude Google for making their failures as much a story as their new ( and utterly incredible) intelligent contact lenses!
Fast Company way back in 2005, cited some excellent examples of failure and its importance to innovation: from Brit James Dyson, to Italian design icon Alberto Alessi , I love their list of those who manage and flourish in the face of failure.
I particularly rate the quote from legendary sculptor Henry Moore who said: ‘The secret of life is to have a task, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for your whole life. And the most important thing is: It must be something you cannot possibly do.’ Now there’s a challenge to innovate if ever I saw one!