martes, 16 de marzo de 2010

El derecho a fracasar

Belén, una amiga, me envía un artículo de Time con las diez ideas para los próximos diez años. La que más me ha llamado la atención es En defensa del fracaso. Dice algo que defendí aquí hace meses cuando la crisis financiera estaba en su apogeo y los bancos estaban al borde de la quiebra.


America allows its citizens room to fail — and if they don't succeed, to try, try again. Somewhere between two-thirds and three-quarters of all Americans report that they have considered starting their own business, whereas in Europe that number is only 40%. While the E.U. publishes documents on "overcoming the stigma of business failure," executives in Silicon Valley proudly make their bygone start-ups the centerpieces of their résumés. And when those start-ups shut down, America stands ready with corporate and personal bankruptcy systems that are the most generous in the world.
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failure is one of the most economically important tools we have. The goal shouldn't be to eliminate failure; it should be to build a system resilient enough to withstand it.
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Yet instead of celebrating all our successes in building systems that fail well, we've become wedded to the fantasy of a system that doesn't fail at all. Look at our underwhelming response to the financial crisis. Bubbles and financial crises are natural features of markets, and while there has been some real suffering on the part of millions, the truth is that as these things go, we've gotten off lightly
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The real secret of our success is that we learn from the past, and then we forget it. Unfortunately, we're dangerously close to forgetting the most important lessons of our own history: how to fail gracefully and how to get back on our feet with equal grace.

Efectivamente, se aprende de los fracasos. Está demostrado que el mejor método de aprendizaje es la experimentación. Y el fracaso puede ser una gran experiencia, por lo dolorosa, si se saben extraer las enseñanas que tiene y se tiene la suficiente madurez para entender qué nos llevó al fracaso y somos capaces de evitarlo en el futuro. En parte esta es la base del funcionamiento del mercado. La disponibilidad por parte de los agentes de diversas opciones y la experimentación libre de cada una de estas opciones es parte de un aprendizaje social que nadie es capaz de replicar.