The Age of Failure

There's a lot of buzz in the social media community about Clay Shirky's new book Here Comes Everybody. (One sentence summary: collective action just got a lot easier.)

One line in his recent talk at the RSA particularly caught my attention:
"One of the things the internet does is it lowers the cost of failure, rather than the likelihood of failure. It enables us to fail more and learn more."
The 21st Century has been variously called the internet era, the computer age, the learning century, the information age, the innovation economy, even the new enlightenment. But I think this is the age of failure. It's when we learn to insulate ourselves from the consequences of failure sufficiently that the world becomes our playground.

And then, we can start breaking new ground, creating new ways of doing things, diversifying, experimenting, playing. Because we can fail as many times as we like in solving a problem, and we only need to get it right once.

So, if you want to change the world, make it easier for people to fail. Help us all to change the world badly. Because if we're all having a go, eventually some bright spark will crack it.