Role of Mistakes in New Product Development & How We Approach Zet Universe Software Development

It’s very easy to move forward when everything gets done, everybody supports you and is happy for you.
It’s much harder when you get failures from time to time, people forgot about what you do or don’t find that needed, right or important.

Bill Gates once said that “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose”. I tend to agree with him. One of the most useful learning sources is your own mistakes as well as mistakes from others. Their cost is high, sometimes too high, but the learnings you get from them is invaluable.

One of the things I do while developing Zet Universe is learning from mistakes made by developers of such systems as WinFS, Microsoft Semantic Engine, Windows Longhorn, Nepomuk; they are very valuable despite of all importance of using ideas from research papers or future envisioning videos like Microsoft Productivity Future Vision. Let me expand a little bit on how Zet Universe’s development process looks like:

    1. we’ve started with an idea
    2. we’ve collected information about similar ideas (including envisioning future visions videos)
    3. we’ve started to dig into related science areas (Zet Universe is a multidisciplenary project)
    4. we do perform analysis of mistakes made by previous developers and researchers
    5. we do make synthesize of the solution based on data collected from previous steps
    6. we do develop the system

once we’ll finish MVP development phase, we’ll do the following:

  • make first testing of the system with first selected customers,
  • we will perform user studies
  • we will come back to the drawing table in order to include all neccessary changes
  • beta & release (Ok, I do agree that I don’t expand on this for now, but that will eventually happen at sometime in the future)


Currently we are simultaneously on all phases from 3 to 6, cause various parts of the systems are in the different state for now.

How important is the role of learning from mistakes for your business?


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