Monday, October 10, 2011

Why Netflix was right to "fail fast" with Qwikster

By now you've heard that Qwikster is dead, either in the media or through an email from Netflix itself. Yes, it was a colossal error that came at a time when customers were already annoyed with price hikes. And yes, it was stupid to loudly proclaim that it was the best thing ever and then pull it just weeks later.

Clearly Netflix embraced the "ship fast and iterate" concept, which got them into the jam. But they did something right, too - they embraced the "fail fast" concept, meaning they realized their error and went about correcting it quickly.

When a project is doomed, it's a lot better to fail fast and pull back before more money and time are lost. Especially when internal staff and external users aren't embracing it. Why wait till it loses millions and millions of dollars to fail? It's far better to acknowledge the failure and get back to business.

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