Smart people are averse to risk

The history of invention is full of beautiful mistakes. Something does not serve the original purpose? That is not to say that the unexpected result cannot lead to something ingenious. From penicillin to X-rays - they are all by-products of experiments that actually had something else in mind.

Furthermore, many admired people have experiences of failure: what would have escaped mankind if Pablo Picasso had been impressed by the biting criticism of his contemporaries ... or Elvis Presley that he was fired after his first appearance ... or Steven Spielberg that he was flew out of film school ... if Joanne K. Rowling had given up after her manuscript Harry Potter has been rejected twelve times. This not only affects artists, but also entrepreneurs. 25 years ago Apple released the Newton, a clunky pocket computer called a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). The device has been ridiculed by critics and customers. Looking back, it turns out that the supposed failure was the forerunner of the smartphone and tablet revolution. The magazine Wired posthumously praised the Newton PDA as a "prophetic failure".

Failure does not make a failure, on the contrary. Many now successful entrepreneurs got into their positions with stand-up qualities. Max Levchin, for example, messed up four companies before his first success with PayPal. His business partner at the payment service, Elon Musk, then focused on electric drives and space travel. With burning car batteries and exploding missiles, he experiences crushing defeats. But he tirelessly comes up with new ideas.

Lütke regrets that the entrepreneur itself has a bad image in Germany. If he wants to enjoy prestige, he has to be successful. "If it isn't, then Schadenfreude follows," says Lütke. In this country, giving processes time and allowing unsuccessful attempts is not widespread. In science it is different, says Lütke. “In every chemistry laboratory, attempts are made without end before the desired result is achieved. In sport, nobody sets a world record at the first attempt. Sometimes it just takes a bit in business to find the solution. "