Planetary Resources is a new company whose mission is to mine asteroid and comets. No, really. It may sound like science fiction and they won’t be bringing valuable materials back to Earth tomorrow, but they’re apparently serious about it and have the backing of people like Ross Perot, Jr., Larry Page, Peter Diamondis and many others.
As a huge space buff this really speaks to me and here’s one of my favorite things about the venture, from the company’s chief scientist, Chris Lewicki:
One important thing to understand about our company, we’re not a government program. For NASA and other civilian agencies, failure is not an option. But for us it’s the exact opposite: failure is an option. It has to be, just think of where we might be as a species or a nation if we only took on projects where success was a virtual certainty.
Failure is an option. It has to be. That’s a great mission statement right there.
Workplaces that shun mistakes make their employees unhappy. The reason why is simple: On the one hand they want their people to be innovative, creative and productive – on the other hand mistakes are punished severely. How the heck are employees supposed to unite those two demands?
As the Mythbusters say: “Failure is always an option.” And as we say: You should celebrate mistakes at work, not hide them.