In 1981, Steve Jobs was on top of the world. Apple, his computer company, had gone public and Jobs’ future looked bright. Unfortunately, in 1984 the Mac experienced a lukewarm reception by the computer world and, the following year, Jobs was removed as CEO of the company he had built.
His story, while infamous, is not entirely peculiar. Many great inventors and entrepreneurs had to endure moments of failure before achieving their goals. Thus, it’s a widely accepted belief in business that failure is essential to success. Some would even say that failure is more important than success, at least a part of the journey.
Failure is a Component of Success
Failure plays two crucial roles in innovation. The first one, and perhaps the most important, is that it’s an opportunity to learn. People, businesses, and projects learn more from their failures (and those of others) than they do from their successes.
Through failure, they can recognize what works and what doesn’t. They also know precisely where they need to improve. So the next time they have a go at it, they’ll be better placed to succeed.
Failure also makes for an important lesson in humility. There’s no venture that cannot fail under the right (or wrong) conditions. This has taught the best entrepreneurs to avoid notions of invincibility. Thus, they always exercise caution and are open to improvements.
Failure isn’t the End
For those who choose to learn from it, failure is never the end of the road. In fact, the experience that comes from it can pave the road to success. Many companies in a wide variety of industries had a rollercoaster ride on the path to success. Notable examples in crypto are;
Poly Network is a popular cross-chain protocol. Having successfully integrated more than 20 blockchains, the protocol is relatively successful in its goal to implement blockchain interoperability. However, it almost came crumbling down when The Poly Network suffered one of the largest hacks in crypto.
In August last year, a hacker exploited a vulnerability in the code powering the protocol. The attacker made off with various cryptocurrencies worth a combined $611 million. It was so devastating that Poly Network tried to appeal to the hacker by publishing a letter addressed to them.
Fortunately, after several outreach efforts, the hacker responded and even agreed to return the funds. Poly Network also offered them the opportunity to become its chief security adviser and a half-a-million-dollar bounty. And having learned from this almost tragic experience, the network has worked hard to improve its security systems.
Axie Infinity is one of the most successful projects in the play-to-earn space. The NFT-powered game boasts of almost a million active players every single day. But in March this year, it suffered an attack on its Ronin sidechain that cost it $622 million in crypto, which is probably the biggest hack in crypto.
It was later discovered that the Lazarus Group, a team of North Korean hackers, were behind the hack. They are yet to be brought to justice.
Axie Infinity, on the other hand, needed some help to reimburse the affected users and spent the next month making security upgrades. Today, it continues to do relatively well.
Wormhole is one of the most popular cross-chain bridges in decentralized finance (DeFi). However, earlier this year, the platform suffered a hack that saw it lose $320 million in Wrapped Ethereum (wETH). The hacker exploited the smart contract, allowing them to mint wETH without depositing an equal amount in Ethereum.
Luckily for Wormhole, Jump TradingGroup volunteered to replenish the lost funds. And, to help prevent this from happening again, the company runs a bounty program that rewards hackers for discovering and reporting critical bugs in its smart contracts. This move seems to be working for them quite well so far.
Ring Financial is an innovative DeFi project where investors run their own nodes and receive rewards for it. The project’s long-term vision is to develop technology that automatically aggregates other innovative DeFi protocols, bringing more returns to investors.
Unfortunately, Ring Financial lost money to a hack late last year, just as things were going south for crypto as a whole. This triggered a chain of events that pushed the project to the brink of collapse. But it’s far from over. Having learned from this setback, the Ring Financial team is working to revive the project and restore investor confidence.
Get back up
Steve Jobs returned to Apple as its CEO in 1997. Over the next decade, he shifted Apple’s focus from desktop computers to innovative items like the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad, creating the foundation of what is now one of the most valuable companies in the world.
In the world of business, nobody expects the climb to the top of the mountain to be an easy one. Innovation is all about taking risks, and failure doesn’t automatically spell doom. Rather, it’s another step on the road to success.
Zoya Maryam, is an Entrepreneur, Active Author, Marketing, and Fundraising Consultant. Her breakthrough is primarily from generating millions of digital impressions for Entertainment, Blockchain Industry, and various Startups.