Winning all the time

Two-time Noble laureate Linus Pauling encapsulated the process of innovation when he said, “The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw out the bad ones.” It’s a process full of blind alleys and dead ends. As a result, as Nathan Myhrvold told me, “When people say failure is not an option, it means they are either lying to themselves or doing something boring. When you try to solve an important problem the world has looked at and failed to solve, failure is an option, and that is okay.” Myhrvold recalled the time an attorney bragged to him that he had never lost a case. “I see,” Myhrvold said to the attorney “So you only do easy stuff!”

pages 183-184, Elastic: Flexible Thinking in a Time of Change,
Leonard Mlodinow | Pantheon Books

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