Business wisdom from a long time ago. Thomas Watson’s take on failure and how it breeds success.

One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from Thomas Watson, the man who took over IBM and built it from a respectable business machine company into the computer giant it is today.  His son, the Jr. version was no slouch.  He oversaw the company during some of its greatest growth years and then was ambassador to the UK for some time.

His quote is more or less:

Would you like me to give you a formula for… success?  It’s quite simple, really.  Double your rate of failure.  You’re thinking of  failure as the enemy of success.  But it isn’t at all… you can be discouraged by failure / or you can learn from it.  So go ahead and make mistakes.  Make all you can.  Because, remember that’s where you’ll find success.  On the far side.”

If you think of the high school high jumper as an analogy it makes perfect sense.   And of course in life.