We look at another childhood error and its somewhat humorous result as an example of how to plan for acceptable risk.  We often think of that as something where you are willing to pay the price.  However, we also need to examine mitigating the consequences to where they are acceptable.  It is sort of like placing a monetary bet.  There is a limit we can lose, but maybe a side bet will help reduce the overall loss. 

Precautions And Acceptable Risk

Preventive action is an excellent way to adjust acceptable risk.  We see examples of this in beta testing and limited releases in the business world.  Yes, the product may fail. But, on the other hand, we have less invested and less potential for negative backlash.  That allows us to push out a new product and consider it an acceptable risk rather than delay release or continue to redesign or refine it. 

Testing Theories and Risks

Momentum is so often an underlying item of concern in our discussions.  This story is no different.  Sometimes the best way to approach a novel idea is incremental.  That allows us to verify our assumptions without building as much momentum and even limiting potential loss or harm.  However, sometimes we have to reach certain minimums of progress or speed to provide a proper test of our idea.  We can’t attempt to jump over a portion of a gap.  Likewise, testing the result of an impact is useless if the impact is so slow as to be unnoticeable. Nevertheless, we can take incremental steps towards our solution.  They need to be adequately sized to be effective.

If you like this season, you will probably like Scott Adams’ book, “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life.”

Rob Broadhead

Rob is a founder of, and frequent contributor to, Develpreneur. This includes the Building Better Developers podcast. He is also a longtime student of technology as a developer, designer, and manager of software solutions. Rob is the founder of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences as well as a few about becoming a better developer. In his free time, he stays busy raising five children (although a few have grown into adults). When he has a chance to breathe, he is on the ice playing hockey to relax.

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