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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success

Megan McArdle, The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success (2014):

UpMost new products fail. So do most small businesses. And most of us, if we are honest, have experienced a major setback in our personal or professional lives. So what determines who will bounce back and follow up with a home run? If you want to succeed in business and in life, Megan McArdle argues in this hugely thought-provoking book, you have to learn how to harness the power of failure.

McArdle has been one of our most popular business bloggers for more than a decade, covering the rise and fall of some the world’s top companies and challenging us to think differently about how we live, learn, and work. Drawing on cutting-edge research in science, psychology, economics, and business, and taking insights from turnaround experts, emergency room doctors, venture capitalists, child psychologists, bankruptcy judges, and mountaineers, McArdle argues that America is unique in its willingness to let people and companies fail, but also in its determination to let them pick up after the fall. Failure is how people and businesses learn. So how do you reinvent yourself when you are down?

Dynamic and punchy, McArdle teaches us how to recognize mistakes early to channel setbacks into future success. The Up Side of Down marks the emergence of an author with her thumb on the pulse whose book just might change the way you lead your life.

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Nothing new. When I was a student, this point was made by many of my teachers. For my entire teaching career I have told students that "a failed effort is much better than no effort" as part of my attempts to persuade them to focus on class preparation, and to understand that learning occurs through trying and not simply observing.

Posted by: James Edward Maule | Feb 11, 2014 4:58:36 PM

James Edward Maule - the title is "Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success", not "Failing Well Is the Key to Success". Unless you have read at least some of the book, suggesting there is "nothing new" seems a bit strong.

Posted by: J Dawg | Feb 12, 2014 6:26:30 AM