Dan's Blog

I am Principal Program Manager at Microsoft leading the Business Platform Division's (BPD) community team. BPD includes SQL Server, SQL Azure, BizTalk, AppFabric, and other technologies and services.

What Does Failure Mean to You?

What Does Failure Mean to You?

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We recently announced some changes to a set of technologies that were linked together via the codename “Oslo”. While some of the technologies originally part of “Oslo” have shipped, some have not, specifically these are: the “Oslo” repository, “Quadrant”, and “M.”  For the long description you can read this blog post by Don Box. The short answer is: the “Oslo” repository and “Quadrant” have been shelved. “M”, a language for defining schema, constraints, queries, and transformations, will continue to be invested in but there is no announcement right now as to what shape “M” will take in the future or when.

When you read the blog post it’s really easy to “browse” away shaking your head mumbling, “just another screw up by Microsoft. What are those guys doing?” Steve Jobs said “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower” and Benjamin Franklin, probably this country’s most famous inventor said “Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.”.

What’s the point in all this? To do great things you have to take risks and you have to expect to be wrong a significant portion of the time. You have to expect criticism and naysayers, just don’t submit to them. @ Microsoft I work with an incredibly talented set of inventors who live this each and every day. While others my read the mentioned blog posting and shake their head and chuckle. I read it and I applaud the dedicated people who poured themselves in to the innovation process. I also applaud them for making the tough decision to refocus their energies on other areas of innovation. I would much rather work with these people than the person who is always right.

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  • Well said.

    "If you want to double your success rate, quadruple your failures."

  • Very well done Dan.  I not only completely agree, but I'm glad to see you finally taking the offensive against guys like me and Denny.  I wish you guys had adopted that philosophy before you shipped dacpac though.  It would have been nice if someone said, hey, this isn't ready for the public.

    I honestly do applaud your ability to throw in the towel on something that clearly isn't working.  That's a very hard thing to do and I hate to say that most vendors (esp the ones I have to deal with) don't do that.  They just push through and force crap on us anyway.  So thanks for that.  Seriously.

  • Thomas Edison tried over 1000 different types of filaments for the electric light before settling on Tungsten. What if he had "failed" at only 100 tries.

  • Dan,

    I totaly agree with your point on mistakes.

    I think you will love this:

    www.ted.com/.../ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

    If you do, drop me an email. :)

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