Growing a tolerance for failure, the power of asking, and what to work on

Jun 24, 2024
Z Fellows

1: Jensen Huang on Growing A Tolerance For Failure

If you want to be successful, I would encourage you to grow a tolerance for failure. If you fail often enough, you actually might become a failure. That’s different from being successful. How do you teach someone how to fail, but fail quickly?

The way to do that is intellectual honesty. We assess on a continual basis whether something makes sense or not. If it’s the wrong decision, change your mind.

A lot of people say CEOs are always right and they never change their mind. That doesn’t make any sense to me. Especially when it violates the first principles of what we want the company to become: an innovative company that invents amazing things and solves problems for the world that sometimes it didn’t know it had.

If you want to do that, you have to cultivate that tolerance for risk-taking and teach people how to fail quickly, and inexpensively.

Innovation requires experimentation. Experimentation requires expiration. Exploration results in failure. Unless you have a tolerance for failure, you will never experiment. If you never experiment, you will never innovate. If you don’t innovate, you don’t succeed… you’ll just be a dweeb.”

Source: Stanford Lectures

2: Steve Jobs on Asking

“Most people never pick up the phone. Most people never ask. And that's what separates, sometimes, the people that do things from the people who just dream about them." — Steve Jobs

Source: Secrets of Life

3: What to Work On

"The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life." — Jessica Hische

“Don’t do anything that someone else can do.” — Edwin Land

“It’s hard to do a really good job on anything you don’t think about in the shower.” — Paul Graham

"The thing you do obsessively between age 13 and 18, that's the thing you have the most chance of being world-class at." — Bill Gates

“Action produces information. Just keep doing stuff.” — Brian Armstrong