Top 5 Stories of the Week on LinkedIn and Why Failure Is On Everyone's Mind

December 16, 2011

One wall of Jeff Stibel's Malibu office is coated with failure. Famous quotes about "flaming out" from Henry Ford ("Success is 99% failure") to Mickey Rooney ("You always pass failure on the way to success") cover the wall, sharing room with the hand-written admissions of disasters and bad decisions of his employees at Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. Through these personal tales of failure, Stibel has built a culture that encourages risk taking and humility.  He lays out the reasons why he embraces failure and why you should, too in an article on that was one of the most shared stories this week on LinkedIn. In fact, failure seemed to be the theme of the week, as you can see from the Top 5:

Top 5 most-shared articles on LinkedIn (Dec. 8, 2011 - Dec. 15, 2011) Follow @LinkedInToday

Learning from failure, of course, is a key component of the Silicon Valley-inspired business culture that has spread well beyond Route 101. Today, the scars of unrealized ambition are displayed proudly, not covered up. Small businesses everywhere, for instance, can look at the ugly early designs of what are now the world's biggest websites as highlighted by Mashable and see a reason to launch and iterate on an imperfect design or idea. Never launching will definitely bring failure; getting something out there and facing and fixing issues could lead to glory. As Yannis Moniaros, a software developer in Greece, tweeted in response to the story: "Are you still working on the perfect design for your app?"

Writing for Inc., Ilya Pozin (his second week in a row on the leader board) details how people fail by multitasking, jumping to answer email and setting unachievable goals. Like Stibel, Pozin uses poor decisions as a way to think about how to make better ones. As the year wraps up, it's no surprise that such stories of failure and redemption are bubbling to the top of professionals' must-read lists. The economy is showing signs of hope for 2012 (in some sectors), unemployment is dipping, and companies have cash to put to work; now feels like the perfect time to set a game plane for how to take off next year. Learning from your personal failure wall and being prepared to write on it again might just be the best way to achieve success.

Here are the top stories by industry for the last week: