Accelerate ezine

Accelerate - The F-Word edition

open this image in new window: Accelerate F-Word edition

This edition of Accelerate is all about failure.

It might seem odd that Callaghan Innovation would want to embrace failure. Surely we would want the businesses we support to succeed?

The answer is that we certainly do, but innovation is inherently risky, and some failure is an inevitable by-product of that risk.

The trick is not so much to avoid failure, as to harness it. Nearly all of the world’s leading entrepreneurs have overseen failed projects, but by understanding the failure and applying the lessons from it, they were able to make a success of their subsequent ventures. Vibrant economies also seem to have an environment that supports entrepreneurship and is tolerant of risk and failure.

Last year, with Idealog's help, we commissioned interviews with a number of successful New Zealand entrepreneurs to learn about their setbacks, how they felt and what they learnt. We then began a public conversation about attitudes to failure in New Zealand.

This issue of Accelerate distils some of our findings, and shares some of the best failure stories we uncovered. We hope these will inspire you to in turn embrace the concept that 'failure is an option'.

Affirmations of Failure

Affirmations of Failure

Johnny Cash and Anna Guenther both agree - failure hurts but it's not the end of the world. Get over your fear of failing with some failure-busting words of advice from those who've been there, and done that.

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Plane

Looking at the wrong planes

Callaghan Innovation Business Innovation Manager and former anthropologist Sara McFall looks at why, when it comes to business, Kiwis may not be flightless, just afraid to fly.

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Serendipity

Serendipity-Doo-Dah

As the saying goes, you’ll never know unless you try and plenty of unexpected successes have come from luck or apparent failures. We take a look at some of the best examples.

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Try again

Try, try and try again

Anna Bradley-Smith digests the results of Idealog and Callaghan Innovation’s research into New Zealand attitudes to failure in business.

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Failure is Forensic

Failure is forensic

Are New Zealanders ‘failure tolerant’ enough? Caitlin Salter asks some experts.

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Failed not Finished

Failed but not finished

Dr Smita Singh talks to Jihee Junn about the social stigma of entrepreneurial failure and how best to deal with it.

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Genius watermelon

Genius from elsewhere

Does the Kiwi attitude to failure differ from other markets? Peter Thomson, the strategy director of design and innovation firm Richards Partners, thinks so.

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No-Yes

No, No, No, No, No, No, Yes

We asked Gary Bolles what New Zealanders can learn from the Valley’s acceptance of failure as a necessary part of eventual success.

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Updated:28 October 2016

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