How to Fail Fast and Fail Often
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How to Fail Fast and Fail Often

How many times have we seen organizations shy away from technology due to their fear of failure? The fear within managers, organizations and boards as a whole can lead to undue fear and emotional responses.

Companies like Nokia, Blackberry, Amazon OS and Kodak all missed out on global dominance, because they feared repercussions and didn’t focus on a fail fast and fail often methodology.

In this article, we take a look at what fear of failure is and where it comes from. We also look at the organizational assessments you can run to make sure that a new IT technology is best for your needs.

Understanding Fear

Fear is hardwired in our brains, and there is a good reason behind that. Neuroscientists working on how fear is formed inside our bodies have noted and identified distinct networks that run from the prefrontal cortex to the limbic system and back.

These networks are chemically and electrically stimulated when you produce fear. Fear can genuinely be produced within our brains and body, without the presence of a fearful source or stimulus. Hence, feeling fear is nothing abnormal. It is a common sign that shouldn’t be confused as a sign of weakness or damage. The capacity to feel afraid is a common brain function that normally happens in all human beings. In fact, if we closely look at it, a lack of fear is a sign of brain damage in the body. People who don’t experience any fear at all have some serious underlying brain damage.

Factors for Assessing New Technologies to Fail or Succeed Fast

A major part of understanding IT requirements is evaluating new technologies and seeing whether they really sit well with your organizational strategy and goals. Most organizations jump straight on the bandwagon when they hear about new technology and its potential in management and overall success. However, organizations should put all new technologies through diverse evaluation criteria and ask a few questions before implementing them within their system.

We now study a few factors that can help you evaluate new technologies and see whether they sit well with your IT requirements:

Development Cost

The very first thing to consider in the evaluation process is how much this new technology will cost you. Get an estimate of the entire amount it will cost you to integrate this new technology within your system and to start using it. Development time also matters here, because as we all know, time is money for most businesses today.

Besides just the cost of implementing the technology, also think of how much it would cost you to create the right ecosystem for the technology to flourish. How much more would you have to pay to developers working on this new technology than the other developers you have working for you right now?

Development costs can either make or break your decision to move to a certain technology. For instance, Forrester’s survey of over 54 autonomous car manufacturers found that the support environment required for manufacturing and integrating the technology for self-driving vehicles is still too high.

Consider Threats

IT managers should consider all facets of a change process before implementing it. In line with this, IT managers should consider the risk of implementing new technology and what it means in terms of financial aspects, security and business viability. If you aren’t sure what your technology will be like in the foreseeable future, it is likely that you will suffer due to the risks and threats involved with it.

Many organizations have ditched implementing new technology because the safety and security risks on offer are just too much for them to cover.


Perhaps the most important vector to consider before bringing in new technologies is the new capabilities they bring to the table. The new technology you go for should open up new business capabilities that you really want to achieve. Unless it opens up new doors, you shouldn’t be investing heavily in it.


Usability is another important factor to consider when moving towards new technology. The new technology that you transition to should improve usability and be easy to use. If the new technology does not address usability issues for you or your audience, is it worth the investment?


Interoperability is defined as the ability of software operations and new hardware technologies to exchange information between systems. How much interoperability does your new technology have? Does it help in sharing information and creating an ecosystem of growth and development? If it does, will you able to seamlessly move towards it without wasting resources or time?


Carrying on from our point above, you should also measure the ease of integrating the technology within your existing IT systems. The integration process should be flawless and as quick as possible. The quicker it is, the easier it makes for you to run the technology faster and derive the necessary benefits from it.

Legal Compliance

You should also look to consider the legal compliance this new technology offers. Scan through the regulatory requirements related to the implementation of this new technology and do consider if there are any legal challenges involved in implementation. All legal challenges should be mitigated for proper success.

Security and Privacy in How to Fail Fast and Fail Often

You should measure the privacy risks that come to the picture with this new technology and the security concerns that it brings. Evaluating these risks will let you know just how secure this new technology will be in monitoring your data sets and keeping your systems safe.

Investing in new technology comes with a number of risks, something that we have looked at in this article. For now, you can go through the factors above and determine whether the new technology your team is going gaga over is worth the investment or not. Fail fast or succeed fast – choose your path correctly! And balance the fruits of innovation experimentation with How to Fail Fast and Fail Often.

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