Adam Osborne

The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake—you can’t learn anything from being perfect.

Randy Pausch

Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer.


Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.

Thomas J. DeLong

The only way to do the right thing well is to do it poorly first.

George Bernard Shaw

Our conduct is influenced not by our experience but by our expectations.

Frank Morris, Jean-Philippe Deschamps, Chris Floyd, Geoffrey Marlow

Once formed, mindsets become more and more deeply ingrained through a reinforcing loop. Mindsets condition our perceptions, which dictate what we experience. Our experiences reinforce our original mindsets and close the loop. In organizations, this phenomenon tends to manifest as separate “mindset factions” e.g., in R&D, Marketing, and Manufacturing. Members of various factions see things differently, yet all believe they are unarguably and self-evidently “right” … [ Read more ]

David S. McIntosh

Psychologist Richard Farson observed that, although people profess to learn from their mistakes, their behavior is shaped by their successes. This is why change is hard for people. Confronted with failure, or with a new world where the old tricks aren’t working any more, most people keep doing what they have been doing, only harder.

Henry Mintzberg

If you want the imagination to see the future, then you better have the wisdom to appreciate the past. An obsession with the present—with what’s “hot”, and what’s “in”—may be dazzling, but all that does is blind everyone to the reality. Show me a chief executive who ignores yesterday, who favors the new outsider over the experienced insider, the quick fix over steady progress, and … [ Read more ]

Henrich Greve

There is no shortage of advice for entrepreneurs, managers, and executives on what they should be doing in order to succeed in business. Some of the advice comes from people who really should be careful about giving advice because they haven’t actually succeeded in business—they are just good writers. Other advice comes from people who really should be careful about giving advice because they have … [ Read more ]

Russell Ackoff

Experience is not the best teacher; it is not even a good teacher. It is too slow, too imprecise, and too ambiguous. Experimentation is faster, more precise, and less ambiguous. We have to design systems which are managed experimentally, as opposed to experientially.

Tom Ruby

Misapplying experience is perhaps the surest route to failure.

John Wooden

I’d rather have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent.


Life is short, Art long, Occasion sudden and dangerous, Experience deceitful, and Judgment difficult.

Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experience misleading and judgment difficult.

Joe Pine

Time is the key differentiator between services and experiences, whether one charges for it (yet) or not. If your company wants to spend less time with your customers – and they want to spend less time with you – than you’re already on the path to commoditization. But if you want to spend more time with your customers, and they want to spend more time … [ Read more ]

B. Joseph Pine and James H. Gilmore

While commodities are fungible, goods are tangible, services are intangible, experiences are memorable and transformations are effectual. All other economic offerings have no lasting consequence beyond their consumption.

David K. Hurst

If we are to learn from the experience of others, surely we have to understand their thoughts and actions in the particular situations in which they found themselves. When it comes to human action of any kind, context matters.

Vernon Sanders Law

Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.

Aldous Huxley

Experience is not so much what happens to you as what you make of what happens to you.

Frank Haas

People don’t have time to seek authentic experiences, so they are looking for experiences in the products they buy.

Gary Klein and Karl E. Weick

The only thing that the passage of time achieves is to move you closer to retirement or termination. Too often, we treat experience as a noun rather than as a verb, something to accumulate (“I had an experience”) rather than something to discover (“I experienced . . .”). A nasty barrier to the buildup of experience is buried in this innocent-sounding sentence: “I have learned … [ Read more ]