In the late nineteenth century Thomas Edison was trying to invent a light bulb. When a reporter discovered that Edison had created 10,000 different versions and still could not get it to work he asked:
“How can can you keep going after failing 10,000 times? Isn’t that a little ridiculous? Why don’t you just give up?”
Edison answered, “You don’t understand, I haven’t failed 10,000 times, I’ve simply succeeded in finding 10,000 ways that definitely won’t work.”
I spent a long time this week tinkering (at an analytical level) with a technology that we have tried out it one of our programmes. The results are not encouraging. It seems to be delivering impact for one small group of consumers but not enough (yet) to justify the time and resource investment it will require. Should we iterate the technology or should we accept failure?