The secret to success is many inexpensive failures

This is a video of Frans Johansson’s presentation at the 99% Conference, titled “The Secret Truth About Executing Great Ideas”. I have his book, The Medici Effect, sitting on my nightstand, next in line. He makes some great points here about what I’d call disposable decisions, or “strong beliefs, loosely held.”


  • Most successful innovators win with volume. Picasso created 20,000 works of art, most of which suck.
  • Only use the minimum amount of resources required to test, so you can pivot.
  • The purpose of a strategy is to convince yourself that it could work, not to come up with a correct answer or a final decision. It’s only successful insofar as it empowers actions.
  • “We have a strategic plan. It’s called doing things.” – Herb Kelleher, CEO of Southwest Airlines
  • The likelihood that your initial plan is wrong is nearly 100%. You manage this by taking the smallest executable steps.
  • Props to Behance for sharing their conference speakers online.