Looking at the glittering corporate campuses of booming technology startups in places like Silicon Valley, Boston, or North Carolina’s Research Triangle, it is easy to see nothing but success. But one of the secrets of entrepreneurship is that all of these successes are built on a culture that embraces failure.
It is a surprising truth borne out again and again by business researchers: the places where entrepreneurs have the most success are the ones where it is least painful for entrepreneurs to fail. Only a system that allows individuals to take great risks will see the great rewards that come from truly path-breaking innovation. As Jonathan Ortmans puts it, “the ideal environment for innovation not only celebrates success, but also accepts—if not encourages—failure.”