Does true innovation require failure?

Note to future self.. the answer to this question is and will always be – yes.

Today I heard someone say:

Understand that if you’re trying to do something innovative you will initially fail but on the long run you’re better off

This got me thinking about whether failure is not only an inevitable precursor but also a prerequisite to true innovation. In other words, can we only be truly innovative if we fail? The answer seems to obviously be yes. Of course you need to fail in order to do something truly innovative. If this is the case, I have a bunch of follow-up questions.

  1. How much do you have to fail (in significance or frequency) before you can be truly innovative?
  2. Can such failure even be measured?
  3. Is there a correlation between how much you fail and how truly innovative you’re?

These are all questions that might seem silly and they are probably impossible to response. Nevertheless, I think that’s important to think about the relationship between failure and innovation given that we’re constantly told by society that one tends to follow the other.