Thursday, July 7, 2011

Failure Learning

"In 2000, Deshpande told students at his IIT alma mater in India that one of his early failures, with Coral Networks, made him a better entrepreneur. It showed him he could survive defeat. 'I am now more comfortable taking on bigger challenges, because I am not afraid of failure.'"

Richard T. Herman and Robert L. Smith, Why Immigrant Entrepreneurs Are Driving the New Economy (and how they will save the American Worker

Simple insight, difficult to make a part of our personal cult of success. Several weeks ago I attended a LISC/Urban Institute conference at the Chicago Federal Reserve on neighborhood and regional labor markets. Mark Elliot of Mobility Inc. shared a failure story about Bridges to Work -- major demo in 1990s about reverse commuting run by P/PV. His story was clear, based on evaluation data, and extremely helpful in clarifying our assumptions about jobs and regions. Some things don't work -- and it's good for all us to understand so we can make new investments.

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