Summary of Reaching for Innovation, One Failure at a Time

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Reaching for Innovation, One Failure at a Time  summary


7 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

6 Style


Richard Satava’s path to becoming a surgeon was filled with dead ends and detours. From this experience he gleaned a valuable insight: Failure is an essential part of the innovation process. In fact, according to Satava, encouraging failure is the best way to allow innovation to flourish. Alas, Satava mistimes his presentation and rushes through his closing remarks, which touch on innovations in medicine and their associated ethical issues. Nevertheless, getAbstract recommends his engaging talk to acrophobics who are afraid of falling as they climb to new heights.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What types of failure Richard Satava experienced in his quest to become a surgeon,
  • Why the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) expects most projects to fall short and
  • What “fail points” projects can succumb to en route from the lab to the market.

About the Speaker

Richard Satava is a professor in the department of surgery at the University of Washington.



Richard Satava always knew he wanted to be a surgeon, but he faced challenging obstacles and detours along the way. As a premed at Johns Hopkins University, he loaded his class schedule with science classes. But Satava’s college...

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