No one succeeds the first time they do something. There’s always a time of learning what works and what doesn’t. Remember when you were five years-old and learned to ride a bike? On your first try, was your bike ride smooth and flawless? Probably not. Expecting to succeed without trial and error is like expecting to become a gourmet chef on the first try of cooking.
Journalism is going through similar learning experiences at the moment. There’s a shift from traditional newsrooms to newer online, news websites. The Poynter recently wrote an article on TBD, a startup news website, reducing itself from a general news-based website to an arts and entertainment website. The sad part: the site is only six-months-old.
How do we know that TBD was a failure when it only had half a year? The article was discussing whether TBD site was an example of failure or a future success. TBD considered themselves to be experimenting with ideas, but how long were they planning on experimenting? There are thousands of other websites that deliver similar content and have far fewer expenses.
I believe in taking a risk and learning from mistakes. Perhaps, because of this “failure” TBD is experiencing, the website will turn into something successful, by eliminating what isn’t working. Besides, failure is just learning how not to do things. Once you get a list of “what not to do,” eventually you’re bound to figure out the right thing to do.