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21 December 2009 / erikduval

So true: Fear of bad ideas

Seth Godin’s post is right on the mark:

The problem is that you can’t have good ideas unless you’re willing to generate a lot of bad ones.


Someone asked me where I get all my good ideas, explaining that it takes him a month or two to come up with one and I seem to have more than that. I asked him how many bad ideas he has every month. He paused and said, “none.”

And there, you see, is the problem.

It seems to me that this fear of failure is even more strong in Europe than it is in the US, and it is especially strong among researchers, who only want to publish their successes, never the things that went wrong. As a European researcher, this puts me in an … ‘interesting’ context.

Two years ago, I organized a workshop on WWWrong: What Went Wrong? What Went Right? Exchanging Experiences in Technology Enhanced Learning to discuss this topic … and to provide a mechanism to turn bad experiences into good one – in academia, every publication counts… Maybe it’s time to organize another run of this workshop? Let me know if you’re interested…



Leave a Comment
  1. Wolfgang Reinhardt / Dec 21 2009 8:46 pm

    I’d love to see another WWWrong workshop. I have a lot of bad experience from projects to tell 😉

  2. Bart Tuts / Dec 22 2009 1:44 am

    Or as Ze Frank calls it: Brain Crack. quite an eye-opener when I first saw it.

  3. Sten Govaerts / Dec 24 2009 1:07 pm

    Apparently some people do the same thing, but in a different discipline. Take a look at the worst pictures of the year post on Flickr,
    Comments are funny too…

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