Two interesting posts from two kings of blogging that are only related in my mind around the theme of learning.
First is Fred Wilson, a VC writing about "scar tissue." He read about Hillary talking about her scar tissue from all the battles she's lost, and he relates that to the world of investing, saying essentially that he prefers investing in people who have failed at some venture in the past -- as long as they learned the lessons they needed to learn from the experience.
And then Mike Arrington wrote an amazingly thoughtful post about companies that failed in the last bubble. I will not do the post justice by trying to summarize, but essentially Arrington points out a fascinating dichotomy. On the one hand those who learned lessons in the last bubble may be too timid to try really new things now. On the other side is that people may make easily avoidable mistakes by not learning from what happened. Great innovation, however, only comes from bold actions.
Clearly there's no perfect answer.
One thing is clear, though: None of us can change who we are and where we have been. If you lived through the last crash, or if you didn't, you still need to do something every day.
It's possible to learn from the mistakes of others, and it's also possible to have made mistakes and not learn anything and go forward making them over and over.
I recently read something that's just stuck with me: Really successful people are different in that they've failed more because they've tried so many more things.