Fail Often

[Buy the print etc.]“Fail cheap, fail fast, fail often” is damn good advice. Especially for someone who wants to be successful. So it’d make a good something — perhaps a reminder to hang on your wall… Voila!I also love Esther Dyson’s great line, “Always make new mistakes” (she’s the well-known futurist and venture capitalist). In fact, I liked it so much that in 2008 I went ahead and made a drawing and gave it to her. Good times.It’s all about the same stuff: That our ability to succeed and to thrive is in direct proportion to our ability to make mistakes and learn from them.It ain’t rocket science, but it’s easily forgotten by some. Myself included. Ouch…[Originally sent out earlier today in the newsletter etc.]


  1. Love it. I have the classic Scott Adams quote posted in my art classroom at school. You know the one: “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”
    I tell new students that all progress and innovation comes from failure, often from multiple failures. Mistakes breed success. Don’t be afraid to succeed.

  2. A wise industrialist once said that “failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently” and that industrialist is none other than Henry Ford. We should not let our failures paralyse us, instead we should take them as an opportunity to learn and improve ourselves.

  3. Hugh,

    can I use your image in a presentation about learning please?



  1. […] filhote, o BlogCamp, ser boicotado, pisoteado, descarnado e desviado… Paciência, como diz o @gapingvoid: fail, fail, fail e fail de novo – que é assim que a gente segue. Eu e Fabio Seixas […]

  2. […] results of my art or what others are going to think. Just make the art, mistakes are opportunities. Like this:LikeOne blogger likes […]

  3. […] I am a fan of Hugh’s work. Check out his blog post here about mistakes. I need to get used to the idea of “failing often” in order to succeed. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this. Published in: […]

  4. […] Here is how Hugh MacLeod put it in his daily newsletter: […]

  5. […] Here is how Hugh MacLeod put it in his daily newsletter: […]

  6. […] Hugh has shared his sagacity on many subjects, but especially on embracing failure. Here is another gift from Hugh on the topic titled appropriately “Fail Often”… […]

  7. […] and became stronger at the same time. Trial and error is an important process of achieving success. Fail often and fine […]

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Hugh MacLeod is a genius.  Genius.

Seth Godin
Best Selling Author

His work acknowledges the absurdity of workaday life, while also encouraging employees to respond with passion, creativity, and non-conformity...   MacLeod’s work is undeniably an improvement over the office schlock of yore. At its best, it’s more honest, and more cognizant of the entrepreneurial psyche, while still retaining some idealism.

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Last year my State of the College address was 76 slides loaded with data. This year it was 14 cartoons that were substantially more memorable.

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Former President, Babson College

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Tony Hsieh
CEO, Zappos

In moments of indecision I glance at the wall [to Hugh's work] for guidance.

Brian Clark
  • Seth Godin
  • The New Republic
  • Len Schlesinger
  • Tony Hsieh
  • Brian Clark