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April 05, 2007


Edwin Hayward

Even major "failures" can be turned, with a bit of spit and polish, into a success. For instance, from that article, "Push" (pause for laughter) - but that's basically what RSS does, only RSS does it properly in a lightweight, standard format. And Microsoft's AutoUpdate service is a form of push that protects (?) millions of PCs around the world. Likewise, Virtual Reality... Second Life, anyone?

I was rereading the book by Philip Kaplan (Pud, from F'dCompany) the other day: "F'd Companies: Spectacular Dot-Com Flameouts". Beyond his attitude, which makes me laugh every time, there are some valuable lessons even from some of the worst "flameouts" as there are probably a dozen great business ideas in there that failed spectacularly in 1999 but which would work just fine now because of advances in bandwidth, PC speed, internet and mobile penetration, online advertising etc.

So while we're laughing at the poor souls who took the wrong branch off the company evolution tree, let's also learn all we can from their failures. Perhaps they didn't work out how to make fire, but at some point their ash recycling device might come in handy for somebody who did.

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