How Do You Deal with Mistakes?

Matt Harvey, Stanford University November 15, 2010

Just about everyone has heard the advice, “learn from your mistakes.” However, actually following this bit of wisdom is much harder to do. You may easily remember your mistakes, or the embarrassment and consequences that came with making them, but how do you actually deal with mistakes?

Marissa Mayer, Google’s VP of Geographic and Local Services, was a recent guest on a Digg Dialogg video interview. A number of the interview questions, submitted by Digg users, asked Mayer about Google’s biggest mistakes. Her answer offers a unique way of viewing the whole idea of mistakes. According to Mayer, because Google constantly experiments with new products and launches early, “mistakes” will always happen. However, Google then quickly reiterates the product based on user feedback during the initial release.

Rather than preventing mistakes, this process openly accepts mistakes as part of an innovative creative process. When Mayer spoke at our Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders seminar, she discussed this very point.

Watch the video, and then share how you deal with mistakes.