Brad Feld

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Understanding Ignorance and Humility

Nov 09, 2008

I’ve made a large number of mistakes in my life.  My goal when I make a mistake is to understand what I did wrong, learn from it, pick myself up, and move forward.  When I’ve made the same mistake for the third time, I usually finally figure out what I’m doing wrong.

While I’ve also had plenty of success, I never get confused about where most of my lessons come from.  In case this is ever ambiguous from my writing, I learn the vast majority of my lessons from my failures.  I also have learned what I don’t know, and have figured out that I shouldn’t venture into areas where I’m clueless unless I am willing to spend a lot of time up front researching them – at least to the point where I’m no longer completely clueless.

Matt McCall points us to a great essay by James Montier from Societe General titled Mind Matters: An admission of ignorance; a humble approach to investingI thought it was right on and was nicely reinforced by Matt’s very personal post titled Ignorance and Humility.