By Ben Cohen, The Wall Street Journal,
Nov. 3, 2022
You know what’s cool? A trillion dollars.
Eight hundred billion dollars! That’s more than the market cap of almost every company in the S&P 500. It’s more than Exxon Mobil. It’s more than Berkshire Hathaway. It’s more than Tesla and a parking lot of Tesla cars…
“You want to take big problems and break them down so that you have small wins and small losses,” said Sim Sitkin, the Michael W. Krzyzewski distinguished professor in leadership at Duke University. He coined a term for it: “intelligent failure.” …
Major success is the product of minor failures, but only if the experiments meet specific criteria. They should address worthy questions with uncertain answers. They should be meticulously planned and useful regardless of the results. And they should be modest. That’s the most important thing about them. The rewards are incremental because the risks are not existential. …
The forthcoming book “Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well,” says the optimal bet size is as small as possible. Just big enough to be informative…[end quote]
Since we all make mistakes, this rule of thumb is useful. My motto is, “Live and Learn.” Whenever I make a mistake, I remind myself of the learning.
The important thing is not to make existential-sized experiments. Experiments fail. That’s why they are experiments.
I don’t care much about Meta but $800 billion is an awesomely huge experiment. Even bigger than Elon Musk’s Twitter $44 billion experiment.
For myself, I’ll keep my experiments small.