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Fail Fast, Fail Often: How Losing Can Help You Win
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Fail Fast, Fail Often: How Losing Can Help You Win

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  502 ratings  ·  58 reviews

"Bold, bossy and bracing, Fail Fast, Fail Often is like a 200-page shot of B12, meant to energize the listless job seeker."
—New York Times

What if your biggest mistake is that you never make mistakes?

Ryan Babineaux and John Krumboltz, psychologists, career counselors, and creators of the popular Stanford University course “Fail Fast, Fail Often,” have come to a compelling
Paperback, 208 pages
Published December 26th 2013 by TarcherPerigee
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Nirupama P.R.V. Definitely suitable for teens and all ages. This book is about learning from our mistakes and not about failing as such. It also explains the…moreDefinitely suitable for teens and all ages. This book is about learning from our mistakes and not about failing as such. It also explains the difference between knowing how to quit (when clearly we must), knowing when to pivot/ change course and when to persist a little longer.
The examples might be slightly boring for a teen due to the business and career examples, but it certainly caters to all.(less)
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4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  502 ratings  ·  58 reviews

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Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When other people pick out a book for me, I usually HATE the book with a passion. You see, I am too choosy about the books I read for my own good.

My mom, in all her motherly fretting, got me this book on a whim. She even APOLOGIZED, saying "The title makes it sound like I think less of you. I DON'T. You're struggling, though. So give this book a chance."

As you already figured out, I did give this book a chance.


Instead of endlessly ruminating and deliberating (I'm an overthinker), I shot into
Amy Haydu
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
For me this book wasn't about failing - it's about failing to take action. Don't hesitate to take a chance. Get out of your comfort zone. Be open to your environment.

As a fellow introvert, I appreciate the authors' perspective. I hope there will be additional collaborations between Ryan Babineaux and John Krumboltz.

I need to apply the advice to my own business. I think my business is a terrific opportunity for anyone willing to work, and it's affordable for all. So I'm taking a chance, and it ma
Mar 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Good advices, but very general. Good for young adults. Lately, I am deeply involved in building innovation capability for a conglomerate and one major cultural challenge is to accept failure as a good thing. Picked this book up to see if any interesting insights. This book is focus on life and career advice. I did find redefining failure to be very good perspective.

Failure is

product testing
realizing more to be learned
finding mistake fast
Jazzmin Hunter
Sep 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
The intro was motivating. However, the rest of the book had nothing to do with failing. For example, there is advice to try something new and then a story about a guy who tried a pottery class in high school and that led him into success for the rest of his career. So he tried something new once when he was a kid, and after that he didn't try new things and he never failed.
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lifestyle, self-help
This book isn't trying to sell you a life changing secret or any other mystical success recipe: it's practical, to the point and concise. I really liked it and I really feel like it could help most people.

It gives concrete suggestions, coupled with facts and reputable research results and that's the way I like my self-help books.
Jerry Williams
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I usually don't write comments for reviews. But this book, was incredible and very inspiring. The information given wasn't just to make the reader, feel "good". the information was practical and easy to understand.
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
Started out really good, but quickly re-hashed much of what I've read in other books. There were a couple of interesting points and activities I hadn't seen before, but not much was new or original or something that I don't already do/have done.
Aug 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Good tips. I wish it was more focused on failing well and mindfully and less on "push through" and ," do it anyway".

I mean I guess those apply to failing well. But they are kind of clichéd in my book.
Mar 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Enjoyed the studies mentioned in the book, however I had read or heard about many of them before. Thought advise was general and not really about failure. Better books out there.
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed this book. New way of looking at project, entrepreneurship, and more. "Just get started and don't worry about perfection or failure." Are you hesitating to start something? Read this book!
Kanishka Raja
Feb 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
Self-helpy (but that's the entire point of the book I guess) but has a pithy, direct style. Helps you re-think about a lot of the status quo in your life.
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While I gave this book a two-star rating, it really should be more like a 2.5. It is not a bad book and I would not discourage someone from reading it. The authors make some good points and it fits in well with the self-help/improve yourself/motivational genre.
My issue with this book is that it could have been a lot shorter. The whole book could have been summed up in about ten pages. I listened to this book in my car and every time my wife joined me she kept asking why I was listening to the s
Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it
It was okay.I might have rated it higher if I hadn't read similar advice before. Basically recommends that you follow your interests instead of worrying about following your passions, not continuing down a path that you feel is wrong for you just because you already started down the road (ie you went to school for accounting but find the job soul sucking but feel the need to "use your degree", and how to make small steps towards large changes. Reminded me a bit of Cal Newport's advice in "so goo ...more
Saikat Basu
Nov 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: self-improvement
Most of the advice is familiar to anyone interested in self-help literature. A simple premise that needs to be drilled into us. Take action and don't fear failure. But, this book goes a step further and show that there is a "right" way to fail. Right out of the gate it makes you reevaluate your mindset when it comes to starting anything and procrastination.

I found most of the value in the last 1/3rd of the book. So, scan through the book wherever you can. It is a light read and doesn't overwhel
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Read as an audiobook driving back and forth to work. I am so glad I chose this book because I needed to hear this advice at this stage of our system migration. I've always advocated for breaking stuff because that's how you learn, but Babineaux takes it to the next level. His advice to do something small, immediately to generate momentum towards a goal instead of waiting until you're "ready" can have an immense impact on your life. In addition, I discovered through the first chapter's challenge ...more
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Self-help isn't my usual jam and I listened to this on audiobook which made it harder to implement suggestions or ideas. Overall the message was helpful for me and gave me some things I can work on for the new year. The idea of not being obsessed with perfectionism was really important for me and the need to fail in order to grow very helpful. The book seemed a bit thin on studies and evidence but despite that I liked the message.
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Feeling insecure? This book gives a different meaning to failing and quitting. I should have read this book years ago, perhaps I could have prevented hardship.
The message, in short, is: just do it. And there are many books with the same message but this one resonated with me. I will read it again, just to remind myself to keep failing.
Kat Walsch
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it!

Quite simply "if you wait until you are free of anxiety and doubt then you are going to spend a lot of time doing nothing." Read this book! It's a quick read and full of great tips to get you going and growing.
Chris Bauer
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good lessons within.

- interesting research which I've seen elsewhere
- sage advice on getting started
- a little too much focus on child-rearing
- amazing references and bibliography for future reading
- simple, straightforward and sage advice.
Ankit Bhutani
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: life-advice
Very motivational.. Makes you want to start taking chances and do something.. Also contains some interesting research on what drives learning, innovation and success..
Trisha Roberson
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Listened to the audiobook. It's a lot of information I've heard in other places, but still good for a reminder and motivation. Could be worth reading/listening to again.
Don Wright
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
A refreshing read! Get out there and do the stuff you always wanted to do! Remember the most successful people have often failed many times.
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
80% of the information provided here may be filed under the "no duh" heading, but it does a decent job of backing up claims with successful examples.
شوق عادل
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
كتاب جميل جدًا.. تجد نفسك دون شعور بدأت تنفيذ الكثير من الوسائل المبتكرة التي قد تخرجك من محيط ضيّق إلى محيطٍ أوسع منه ..
كيف تتخطى مرحلة المنتصف الكريهة؟ وكيف تقفز إلى منصة الانطلاق؟
لا شك أنك ستبدأ بالبحث عن سبل التغيير الملاءمة ثم تعتنقها.. كتاب يجعلك تعود إليه بعد فترة لتعيد قراءته.
Cedric Dukes
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some many times we hear we must’ve get it perfect before trying something. The authors implores is to do sample testing to see what the world is saying about our product. I learned a lot that it is ok to fail and revise what you are doing.
Gregg Bell
Nov 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Fail Fast, Fail Often: How Losing Can Help You Win.

Hmm. Now don't you wonder if the authors were hoping their book would be a flop (in a hurry) so they could dash off another book (to fail again)?

I doubt it (don't you?) but if they were true to their philosophy that's what they would do. And what the hell, for all I know that's what they did.

There's no great ambition in this book but also no pretense about having it either. The book's message is that rather than waiting around until you feel li
Jacqui Allen
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved loved loved this book. For me I actually think it could change my life. It is written for those who overthink, over-plan, overanalyse, wait for the right conditions etc before they start living a happy good life. Big things I picked up from this book is to start having some fun in your life as a happy fun life will be more productive. Other great things were starting now and failing your way to success (giving yourself permission not to be perfect from the get-go), changing yo ...more
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: self-help
Well, If you're not sure about this book, here's the core idea; "Don't stress about failure, just give it a try and you'll definitely learn from this experience regardless of the outcome". If this idea is new for you, then you should read this book. If this idea is not new then this isn't the book for you.

I belong in the second group of people, so this idea wasn't new for me and expected more from the book. I expected more scientific backing, not stories like "Bob is a good person and wants to
Optimism, intrinsic motivation, enjoyable activities, Mark your progress.

Fail fast and often, start soon and learn from everything.

Take constant small actions towards a goal. Break down big goals into small steps.

Find one small thing to do, open yourself to new opportunities. Action step: specific, easy, fun, immediate, cheap, real world things and social (interact with people).
Build on your strengths.
Shrink tough decisions: do I want to get an MBA to can I meet someone with an MBA to know more?
Kirk Hanley
Apr 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is a little thin on actual information and some of it I've come across in other books and sources. That being said, I found the book to be quite inspirational. It makes the idea of breaking tasks down and taking action today, rather than at some idealized day in the future (that never seems to come), quite appealing. It may be just the kick in the shins you need to start making your life better and begin working on making your dreams a reality. Recommended.
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“If you want to be a doer—a person whose life is filled with meaningful experiences, diverse opportunities, and continual learning and growth—then it is essential that you not deplete your confidence and energy by overthinking your opportunities.” 0 likes
“Situations in life often permit no delay; and when we cannot determine the course which is certainly best, we must follow the one which is probably the best . . .” 0 likes
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