Summary of The Up Side of Down

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8 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


Business journalist Megan McArdle begins with a fundamental and insightful question: Given that failure is an inevitable part of life, what is the most productive way of thinking about it? Failures do not always happen because someone did something wrong. Sometimes, failures are the consequence of taking a big, creative risk. McArdle offers a wide-ranging tour through different types of failure and explains how best to respond to each kind. She touches on the demise of the old General Motors, the 2008 financial crisis, welfare reform, unemployment, the breakup of personal relationships, and much else in between. She’s at her best when she sticks with her overriding theme and most compelling claim – that the way people respond to failure is crucial to building the mind-set that promotes productive innovation. getAbstract recommends McArdle’s insights and examples to entrepreneurs, business owners and anyone promoting economic policies that foster innovation.

In this book, you will learn

  • Why embracing failure is fundamental for learning and positive change;
  • Why no one can reliably predict a film’s or product’s success or failure;
  • Why crises are inevitable in life and business;
  • Which factors of a crisis can impel bold, positive change; and
  • Why forgiveness promotes innovation and is better than placing blame.

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About the Author

Megan McArdle, a columnist for Bloomberg View, is a former staff member at The Economist and The Atlantic.


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