Why it’s important to fail

I recently watched this wonderful video that explains the importance and benefits of failing. It’s a great video. Please go watch it now. I’ll wait.

There has been plenty of discussion recently (e.g., see the discussion about “pivoting”) about the importance of failure in business and product development, especially in the context of building innovation and startups.

For me, the most important reason to fail is: it helps you develop a growth mindset. Learning that focus and effort can help you master anything, and that the some “dips” are worthwhile to work through.

In chess, failure occurs often: just when you start winning, you immediately go up to the next level, play against “tougher” opponents, and start losing again. It’s part of the cycle of continuous learning and improvement. One can’t really escape it, so one must learn how to fail.

So next time your child fails (in chess or otherwise), value that moment and encourage him to learn — it’s absolutely priceless.

Dual chess dad

This weekend my younger son played (in the kindergarten section) at the California State Championship in Santa Clara. I am so proud of him. This was his second-ever tournament (after a quiet quad at NHC the previous weekend), and he did rather well.

So now I’m a chess dad for two.

I am beginning to wonder how the relationship of the two brothers will evolve: will it foster competition or collaboration? My hope is that they quickly realize that with collaboration they can achieve more, and that 1+1=3. Time will tell.