1. Fail Small
Often, organizations invest too much too fast and end up with a full-blown, highly expensive prototype on their hands. Then, when the experiment fails, they have lost huge amounts of time and money — and often a great deal of respect.
However, if you fail small and handle it well, it can turn into something that actually accelerates growth. Take Boeing, for example. In the early ’90s, it built a new Air Force plane test bed (literally a flying prototype) called the “Bird of Prey."
The total program cost $69 million. This may sound expensive, but to put it in perspective, a single F35 Joint Strike Fighter can cost up to $299 million, and the lifetime operating cost is anticipated to be more than $750 million. In comparison, this was a small endeavor.
This one program generated a wide range of technology that has transformed both military and commercial aviation. The Bird of Prey shows us that when you start small, you avoid getting in over your head if your project fails, and you can use it as a launching pad for more ideas if it succeeds.