The Value of Failure Premium

13 March 2014 | by D.J. Taylor


There is a bleak moment in The Simpsons – most of the best bits in The Simpsons are anything but comic – when Homer, addressing his for once under-achieving daughter, remarks: “Lisa, you tried, and you failed. Now you know not to try.” None of those featured in the five-part The Value of Failure (3-7 March) – a writer, a retired RAF man, a head teacher, a businessman and an ex-­cricketer – could have been convicted of this, well, failing. On the other hand, the effect of their accumulated wisdom was to suggest that failure could be a deeply relative affair. As a sports psychologist (ironically) observed to the former Kent captain Ed Smith (double first, three England caps) “Where did it all go wrong?”Smith’s problem, readily conced

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