Posted by: oikosasa | September 20, 2012

Failure leads to success!

Last week I attended the conference ”Innovation in Mind” here in Lund. It’s not about technical innovations per se, but more about the creative process that might lead to technical innovations. Or groundbreaking research results. Or the brilliant idea that allows you to both help people and become rich yourself. Or solve the big life problem…or other things gaining from allowing creativity to flow.

One take-home message from the meeting was a reminder about the classic importance of failures. Professor Henri Petroski, at Duke University pointed out that failures lead to success just as success often leads to failures in a kind of cyclic manner. Without failures, no progress and development.

So remember, next time your manuscript is rejected you’re one step closer to a successful accept!

And, as Petroski also pointed out – success is a bad teacher, but a good motivator. Failure on the other hand might not be a very good motivator (easy to give up…) but a very good teacher!


  1. That reminds me of an anecdote Joshua Schimel talks about in his book about writing science. His original manuscript was rejected, and after further review of the central concepts, he found a much more interesting and impacting trend.
    Plus, with the lack of funding increases, and the concurrent steady increase in submissions; manuscripts and proposals are much more likely to get rejected! I dread it, but it happens to even the best of science writers.
    Thanks for your post.

  2. thanks for this motivating post ¡ as a young researcher I’m struggling to get myself in the path of good and interesting research. and yeah, having rejections help me to re-think in what I’m trying to publish and even with non sense reviewer comments I always get my papers improved and eventually published.

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