‘Failing Fast’ is a recurring theme in Turning Adversity to Advantage (How Failure Breed Success, Embracing Failure) and this week fellow UK Microsoft blogger Steve Clayton highlights a great piece in the New York Times by Xbox and Zune executive J Allard titled “J Allard: The Failures of the Zune and the Record Labels”:

“The less-than-enthusiastic response to the first generation of Zunes was an important learning experience. I’m a big believer in failing fast…If we skipped last year, we would have never come out with the product we did this year…We learned that because of the shortfalls in the PC client [software], the device was less useful…People hated that there was no podcasts, that they couldn’t fill their cultural cache [the Zune] with the stuff that was meaningful to them. We would not have added Wi-Fi sync [a feature that adds music to the Zune over a wireless network]. That’s not a very sexy feature to demo. If you are out for a run, your girl comes home and rips 5 new CDs on the PC upstairs. You come back home, dock your device and make some risotto. When you go out for a run the next day, the CDs magically appear. That’s cool. The confidence that NPR is always going to be there. That’s cool.”


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