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Old 01-14-2009, 04:45 AM   #11
George Mounce
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Originally Posted by Dave Van Skike View Post
we'll have to agree that you didn't get it....

I am of course biased, I have great admiration for Soichiro Honda and his rise from a rinky dink moped maker totally dominating whichever motorsport has caught his eye... an using what is learned on the track to build what is hands down the most successful motorcycle company in the world...



the cross fit analogy that makes sense is hip hop....if you hybridize and borrow and dumb down enough good things, you'll eventually come up with a sort of new thing.
That I will agree with, I have owned two Honda motorcycles and they bar far were much better than their American counterparts. The next I get will most definitely be a Honda.
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:24 AM   #12
Derek Maffett
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What is your profession? I'll take a wild guess here and say not anything related to engineering?
You might say that there's a potential distant relation to companies like Honda, actually.

I'm simply saying that 10,000 failures and one success means nothing more than that you messed up a lot but eventually managed to do something useful. If someone else can manage the same success with only a couple hundred failures, then he's proved that you were just wasting your time with messing up a lot.

The lady who was tasked with the car color design. She took a chance, followed her instincts, and made an orange car. Her bosses decided to trust her. What they found out in the end was that it was a horrible mistake which could have cost the company a lot if the dealers hadn't spoken up. The mistake did nothing to further the art of car design, since the information that orange was a bad color was probably very much available at the time (else the dealers might not have balked at the idea).

When a mistake is made that you learn from, it hasn't been completely wasted, but the attempt itself was a failure. If you make a mistake that you fail to learn enough from, then you are being inefficient with your failures. If you make a mistake that you learn nothing from, then you have just completely wasted both time and resources. And if you make a mistake that a reasonable amount of study would have prevented, then that's not much more than stupidity (or perhaps laziness or insufficient training or deadlines, but the last two might just indicate stupidity on the part of management).

The glory isn't in the failure, it's in the learning from it. And that type of learning is generally best replaced by study, theory work, and computations which will help bypass a great many failures (thus conserving both time and money). Unnecessary failure and learning from said failure when the same learning could have been achieved through more efficient means is not a good thing.

As for the rest... it was humor.
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:32 AM   #13
Garrett Smith
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Nice hip hop analogy.
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Old 01-14-2009, 08:55 AM   #14
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Solid video, Dave. But you forgot "put a new name on it and trademark it" in your analogy.

Ahh, to be risk averse...I wonder what that's like. Then I realize I don't care.
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:32 AM   #15
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The glory isn't in the failure, it's in the learning from it. And that type of learning is generally best replaced by study, theory work, and computations which will help bypass a great many failures (thus conserving both time and money). Unnecessary failure and learning from said failure when the same learning could have been achieved through more efficient means is not a good thing.
I guess we got something completely different from the video. To me they were not glorifying failure but highlighting the fact that through failure can come success. Being afraid of failing can lead to being averse to taking a risk which in my field at least leads to being stagnant.

Study, theory and computations are just that. In the projects that I have been worked on, run and reviewed in various engineering disciplines. No amount of study, theory and computations can circumvent the failures that will follow. Of course you need to try to think things through and all that, I'm not saying you shouldn't and I don't think the video was saying they shouldn't either. No matter how much you plan, study...etc you will not be able to circumvent failures. What I've learned and what I've garnered in my years is that failure is about what you can take away from it and move on rather than trying to avoid failure all the time.
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Old 01-14-2009, 10:39 AM   #16
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Solid video, Dave. But you forgot "put a new name on it and trademark it" in your analogy.

Ahh, to be risk averse...I wonder what that's like. Then I realize I don't care.
WRT to Hip Hop, for the record, I'm a fairly devoted fan of both Jay-Z and Merle Haggard.

to pile on to Allen's point, I think it's the fear of failure that is crippling. mistakes are good, mistake represent attempts along the path, if you won't allow for that most powerful learning experience, you'll not advance..period.

The idea of 10,000 atttempts versus 100 attempts is a red herring. the point is the mindset that is required. the Beginner's Mind and the the freedom that comes from that. Perfect is the enemy of the Good.
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Old 01-14-2009, 11:25 AM   #17
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Agreed. I'm wondering if we all watched the same video.
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:51 PM   #18
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Yes, failure will happen and we should not be hampered by it, but determination doesn't mean anything if you're still trying to drill through the mountain after everybody else has gone around it or invented airplanes.

Learning the hard way and succeeding is not preferable to learning the easy way and succeeding. Determination is important for both types of people, but the smarter guy is going to go farther. I like companies that don't have to justify many failures more than those who do (provided, naturally, that they both get to a comparable level of technology, which is, again, the most important thing).

If Honda has gotten to be the best motorcycle company in the world because of their failures (or rather their learning from those failures), then very well. But I'm quite sure they didn't get there by molly-coddling their employees and tolerating those who were unproductive and generally royal screw-ups. If they did, then that speaks very badly about the competition.
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:07 PM   #19
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Perfect is the enemy of the Good.
Only until someone comes along who proves that it's possible to get closer to perfection than you thought you could. There's realistic and then there's lack of either ambition or knowledge. Edison thought his DC current was more realistic (safe, or maybe it was a money thing), and so didn't accept AC current which we now use today.

It's a thin line. Too much ambition or too little ambition can be unproductive. Too much demand for zero failures can cause stagnation, while too much acceptance of it is wasteful. Those who live at the edge of "too much" succeed more than those who live in the middle. You might actually argue that Tesla went partially over the line as so many of his inventions were never made, but if those patents were made and actually worked, then was he really?
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Old 01-14-2009, 04:50 PM   #20
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I shall hastily write to my good friend at Honda N America to chide him for all his mollycoddling middle managers.....

who is tesla?
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