A friend asked me last night why I decided to blog about the Blockbuster failure over the Twitter IPO.
I thought it was a fair question, as the Twitter IPO was a much bigger story in the entrepreneurial community…
I pondered the answer for a few seconds, and delivered what I thought was a sound thesis:
There are more patterns to learn from in failure than in success.
There’s More to Learn from Blockbuster than Twitter
To say it in a more practical manner, I think there is more to learn by reflecting on this week’s Blockbuster news than the Twitter IPO news.
What I’ve learned over the years is that you can’t copy someone else’s success. On the other hand, it is very easy to copy someone else’s failures (go figure). Obviously, you don’t want to copy someone’s failures. So it makes sense to pause for a moment and look if you can find a pattern between current and past failures that you can learn from.
The business media does it the other way around. The spend 80% of the time reporting success stories, and as business media consumers we eat it up. Most people are also naturally attracted to successful people and study books about success over those who fail and stories of failure.
Conclusion: Learn The Patterns of Failure
While I agree that the inspiration you get from success stories is important, I believe learning the patterns of failure is just as (if not more) important.
I’m sure you will learn more discovering the similarities / differences between the failures of Circuit City and Blockbuster vs. studying the similarities / differences between the Facebook and Twitter IPOs.