…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.
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.