The course of action:

The intention was to build a properly functioning rocket as quickly as possible which could compete with The Soviet Union’s Sputnik. They wanted to put a lot of money into the project in a short amount of time so that a good, competitive rocket could be built as quickly as possible.

The result:

22 unsuccessful training flights. The rocket just did not want to function properly.

The lesson:

They did not reflect on it fundamentally. There seemed to be a different defect 22 times. The same error did not appear more than once. Only when they performed an in-depth investigation of the entire set up of the program did they achieve a successful flight. Making repairs alone was therefore not sufficient.

The program leader was very clear when he said; “Failure analysis is basically research, when you get down to it. You recover and learn from mistakes; you don’t do that with success.”

Published by:
S. J. Hogenbirk


Winner Jury award OS 2010 – Vredeseilanden – Credit for Cooperatives in Congo

The course of action: To provide loan capital to cooperatives for purchasing and gathering crops. 1. Vredeseilanden distributed loan capital to be used at the cooperatives’ disposal. Initial loans, however, were not paid back. [...]

The missed penalty kick of John Terry

The course of action: Captain John Terry had the chance to win the 2007/2008 Champions League final for Chelsea in a direct duel with Edwin van der Sar. As captain, Terry took the responsibility [...]

F.A.I.L. First attempt in learning for start ups

Innovation is trying out without knowing the outcomes You can learn from failures, but it takes courage and an open dialogue. On you can find a whole series of start-ups that have not [...]

Why failure is an option..

Contact us for lectures and courses


Or call Paul Iske +31 6 54 62 61 60 / Bas Ruyssenaars +31 6 14 21 33 47

Instituut voor Briljante mislukkingen