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Part 2: defining a generation > back to the lab

Chapter 18. back to the lab

The final trait common to gen e is one of the simplest: e = experimentation. Try it. Fail. Then try something else. Implicit to the willingness of gen e to start young is a willingness to embrace failure. Gen e regard failure as a rite of passage. To them, it's a badge of advancement, proof of attainment. They know that all the great entrepreneurs have a failure at some time. You have to fail to succeed.

Gen e know that failure may just be around the next corner. The bigger the prize, the further there is to fall. The technological revolution is littered with "nearly" men and women. In April 1981, Adam Osborne showed off the Osborne 1 computer for the first time. Sales flooded in and by September 1981 his company was recording monthly sales of over $1 million. The Osborne 1 and Adam Osborne seemed to be at the forefront of the technological revolution. The confident and cheerfully opinionated Osborne appeared to be a man of his times. "From brags to riches" read one magazine headline. It was a fleeting glimpse of what might have been. During 1982 Osborne Computer reported losses of $8 million. It was soon bankrupt, an historical footnote. To gen e, failure is a learning experience.


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