4 minutes
Fast Company

Almost every winner starts a loser.

J.K. Rowling, Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison all failed, at least initially, often disastrously. But each found their way to outsized, world-changing success. As did many others.

But what about the countless others across fields who toiled for decades only to sink into the vast ocean of “never-were?”

The reality is that only some histories of failure lead to success, begging the question of which failure patterns ultimately yield results. Conventional explanations center on luck or differences between winners and losers based on learning strategies or individual characteristics.


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