Failure is an option

Failure is an option

It's amazing, really. As marketers, we spend millions on an introduction but won't spend the few thousand dollars to gather the forensic data to improve future projects. Now, with a little help from your friends, you can analyze each idea by following these steps:

1. Find Your Weakest Link

Chart your current projects to see where you fail most often. Take 10 to 100 of your past new products and analyze the key factors that drive volume. Use Deming's Quality Control Charting along with Monte--Carlo Simulations of the Fourt--Woodlock model to identify your weakest link. (If you don't understand all that, don't worry. Your IT geeks will.)

2. Take Your Staff's Temperature

Measure your staff's optimism, courage and understanding of your vision. Do your departments have a common vision they're all pushing toward, or are they pulling in separate directions because they don't understand where the brand wants to be in five years?

3. Fail Fast, Fail Cheap

Dramatic improvement requires dramatic change. Change sparks stress. To reduce that stress, use low-cost prototyping systems (vending machines, health clubs stores or college campuses) to make the unknown known. When the cost of failure is reduced, you'll be more likely to test and try bold ideas.

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