In March, I attended _SOUTHSTART for the first time. The keynote speaker this year was Marc Randolph – cofounder of Netflix, who has had an inspiring career founding and investing in a bunch of successful startups and tech ventures. But – crucially, he’s invested in even more unsuccessful ones. As well as building things that work, he’s built much of his career (checkout his best-selling memoir and podcast) on fostering ideas, encouraging people to take their ideas to the next level and to not be afraid of failure. To not be afraid of “bad” ideas.
Speaking in front of a collection of entrepreneurs, small business owners and founders, Marc talked about his journey from struggling-entrepreneur borrowing millions for his ideas, to the success he is today. But, there was one common theme of his session that really stuck with me:
Each experience of failure was once a promising idea.
Netflix (and Marc’s) success came down to the perfect mix of perseverance, optimism, bad ideas (and there were lots) and the ability to greet each and every idea as a challenge to be a success.
Marc encourages each and every idea to come to fruition in the world; don’t let ideas live only briefly in your mind. An idea is simply non-existent without action, and an idea can only be a good idea by being proven through trial and testing. This process separates the bad from the good, ultimately pushing you closer to success.
Without a knotty string of failures and subsequent learnings, you will never reach the success that is available to you.
Marc repeatedly trialled and tested ideas that were met with echoes of ‘that will never work’, which were right. It was only once the Netflix team cracked the code of their findings from each failed idea and put together a perfect concoction of all learnings from each attempt, that they landed on success. It took each failure to continuously learn and spark new ideas, to navigate Marc and his team to the exact point in their journey they never would’ve reached otherwise.
Therefore, maybe your “bad” idea, your failed attempt, your negative feedback, is just a step in the process. You may be just 1 step (or maybe 50) away from that 1 good and successful idea.
What separates success from failure comes down to us, our perseverance, our need to be passionate about problem solving, ability to stay optimistic in defeating times and our outlook to see negativity, whether our own or external, as a challenge to remain positive and inspired.
The place where bad and good ideas are made is the same…and we shouldn’t be afraid of them; they all serve a purpose.
Producer // kwpx