Success, failure, and other useless, ephemeral labels

Success, failure, and other useless, ephemeral labels

12 September, 2023 1 min read
success, failure, tradeoffs, perspective

“Failure”, “success”, other labels…. Within 250 years, latest, nobody will even know 99.99999% of people ever existed, of their opinions, experiences, “successes”, or “failures”.

Have you noticed that people don’t reference Steve Jobs that often anymore? Imagine all those past “Steve Jobs” characters of other industries that we have forgotten entirely.

Understand trade-offs to a sensible degree, do your best, and also let circumstances play their role. Labels are a distraction from the core jobs to be done.

Eventually, anything you or others label as whatever (whether the label is “objectively” true or false, if you could ever really know the objective truth for such matters…) will be as useless as worrying about these labels right now, instead of focusing on whatever needs to be done right now or within the immediate future, in order to maximize the probability of bringing about one of the desirable outcomes.

You might think that this is some kind of deep philosophical post, but it really isn’t; it’s also applicable to what goes on in product development projects and the inevitably numerous learning experiences that some, sometimes, all too eagerly stamp with a label.

Design your experiments correctly, and they will all be learning opportunities on the way to something that customers will value.