In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.— Ralph Waldo Emerson
This jumped out at me today and made me think about Fedora, its contributors, and a conversation I had with Karsten earlier today about a specific spin idea. Stifling ideas… the exact opposite of Fedora. I don’t ever want to be in that business.
Can you apply the thought above to an idea you’ve packed away, thinking it wasn’t good enough, only to it come back at you from a different, external direction? Makes you wish you had just come out with it. I’ve heard people express this same regret, and I like the fact that in Fedora we can agree to try often and fail often. You don’t get anywhere innovative by always doing what you know will succeed.
Paul, this is a great way to assert the nature of Fedora – “Try often, fail often”. I think it’s great, because then Fedora can be whatever someone wants it to be. If someone says Fedora isn’t this or that, we can honestly say that there are no roadblocks to making Fedora this-or-that – unless this-or-that is something that restricts freedom or openness.
I do believe that this concept of “try often, fail often” is great. If only we can extend the phrase itself to emphasize that this willingness to fail is itself a manifestion of success. How many attempts does someone have to make before getting something right? The answer is “n”, and you’ll never succeed if you’re not first willing to accept failure from time to time…maybe more often than you succeed.