Avoiding Unnecessary Failures

I’ve previously mentioned how Edison rejected the idea that he’d ever failed to find a way to make an electric light bulb. Instead, he insisted he’d found 10,000 ways that wouldn’t work.

While these 10,000 experiments were at least in some sense failures, they probably could not have been avoided, since Edison was operating in uncharted territory.

In contrast, the famous 1937 explosion of the Hindenburg, a lighter-than-air passenger vessel filled with highly explosive hydrogen, was a failure that most certainly could have been avoided.