How Thinking of Failure Helps Lead to Success

Jake Burton Carpenter founded Burton snowboards in 1977. In his first year he sold 300 snowboards. Today his company has five international offices, employs almost a thousand people, and snowboarding has grown from a fringe activity to an Olympic sport.

You don’t become the industry leader and maintain that position without having great products. So what one assumption does Burton feel is safe to make about his products?

‘I learned the hard way that you cannot presume anything is going to work well. You have to think through every possible failure and test the hell out of products. Our mantra is to assume the product will fail – and then make sure it doesn’t.’

Assume it will fail. Then make sure it doesn’t. Good is never good enough. Institute the ongoing drive for better.

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