Summary of The Up Side of Down

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

The Up Side of Down book summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans


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 summary, 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.

About the Author

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



Failure Is Fundamental
Failure is inevitable – so you’re better off going through it early and often and taking it as a learning opportunity. Failure is central to the learning process. Students fail tests, flashy new products fail, once-dominant businesses implode, doctors and nurses ...

More on this topic

By the same author

How the US Workforce Is Changing

Customers who read this summary also read

Mistakes Millionaires Make
What Did We Know? What Did We Do?
Leadership in the Eye of the Storm
And the Weak Suffer What They Must?

Related Channels

Comment on this summary