To succeed in business, we must be prepared to fail.

In programming I’ve learned to accept that perfection seems nearly impossible. A simple program should be bug free, but as things get more complex, the probability that it will be bug free gets relatively closer to the odds of winning a few million dollars in the lottery. Errors are even more likely when multiple people work on a project. And a programmer can always rely on the end-user to do something that isn’t intended and cause all sorts of chaos to result. I’m a perfectionist and this concept of acceptable imperfection has always been a very hard thing for me to accept, but accept it I must if I am to succeed in my programming efforts.

Business is a lot like programming: there are many factors both within and outside of your control that can result in bugs or failures. A perfect business strategy must include the realization that the odds are heavily against things going as planned. This fact is the simple reason why business plans require the inclusion of worst-case scenarios, dealing with the competition, and exit strategies: you must be prepared to fail in order to succeed.

In follow-up posts, I will address these issues individually.

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