Failing at failing – Chris Corrigan, Tim Harford and Peter Palchinsky

Via Johnnie Moore I came to another excellent post by Chris Corrigan. And in the comments below there was this…

…I was moving through Tim Harford’s Adapt: Why success always starts with failure. What caught my eye, amongst many things written in Harford’s book was the story of Peter Palchinsky, a Soviet era engineer, who clearly was not afraid to tell the truth rather than simply offering the “right,” state-sponsored answer about some of the early Soviet Union’s most ambitious and ultimately disastrous, megaprojects. Harford boils Palchinsky’s approach down to three principles:
– Seek out new ideas and try new things
– When trying something new, do it on a scale where failure is survivable
– Seek out feedback and learn from your mistakes as you go along

So I googled Mr Palchinsky, and it’s a heart-breaking and instructive story.

Extra notes
Tim Harford writes (well) for the FT. I should probably read Adapt.

Magnitogorsk is the subject of Steeltown USSR, one of the best books I read last year.

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