How many times have you been trying to accomplish something only to wind up missing the mark? We’ve all been there. You’ll crumple up the sheet of paper or toss the failed product into the trash bin. But what if those failed attempts really aren’t failures at all, but another amazing invention that you weren’t expecting? As an article from Yahoo! Small Business Advisor points out “There is a very thin line between brilliant innovation and absolute failure.”
Just look at Alexander Fleming, who all but discovered Penicillin by accident when he hastily left his lab and returned to find some petri dishes overrun with bacteria. Fleming noticed that one particular petri dish contained mold and around the mold was an area free of bacteria, as if it was being blocked from spreading. It turns out that that particular mold could be used to cure many types of bacterial infections.
Much in the same vein, Spencer Silver discovered the easy to peel off formula for Post-It notes when he was attempting to create a super strong adhesive. He may have been way off base with his glue, but he wound up creating something that can now be found in nearly every office in America.
Don’t immediately discredit all of your “misses” as failures simply because they didn’t wind up at the result you were after. What would happen if you positioned it in a different way or applied it to a different scenario?
Maybe that “awful” Power Point would work if you aimed it at a different audience. Or what about that serious company profile video you attempted to shoot, but wound up shooting more bloopers than actual video? Maybe that would make an excellent funny viral YouTube marketing skit.
It might be worth thinking about.
Have you had any “misses” that could have been hits? What do you think about “accidental inventions?”