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Prototyping = Failure

Prototyping can be defined as building, testing and reworking a concept or idea until an acceptable or desireable form of a product is finally achieved. This process is simply failure, over and over again.

Sir James Dyson was knighted in 2006 for his ‘inventive mindset’. In the process of inventing the cyclonic cleaner, he made 5127 prototypes in his backyard shed before he came up with one that worked. This product, known globally as ‘The Dyson’ disrupted and revolutionised the vacuum cleaning industry. What if James Dyson had considered himself a failure and stopped at prototype #5126?

“Failure is interesting - it's part of making progress. You never learn from success, but you do learn from failure.” Dyson, November 2012

We need to be very careful when applying the word ‘fail’ in any context. If failure is part of making progress, we need people capable of applying what is learnt in meaningful ways, rather than just reproducing and regurgitating knowledge.

One of the best definitions of success I have heard comes from motivational speaker Bob Proctor, "Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal" and in that progressive realisation are a multitude of failures. Failures are mearly steps along the way.

So next time you catch yourself out thining that you are a failure or that you have failed at what you have done, rember you are one step closer to success, a success that would otherwise never have been possible.

When Sir James Dyson looks for the right people to work in his entrepreneurial company he says,  “It's a matter of having the right attitude -- humble, curious, determined, willing to fail and try.” Sounds like the designers that use our CAD software on a daily basis.

Nigel Varley

CEO CAD International



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