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Last Update: Monday August 3, 2020

Key Idea: See Failure as a Normal Occurrence

This is a rubber part made of recycled materials.   It was invented in the laboratory at Diversified Chemical Technologies where scientists work through problems to come up with cheaper, faster ways to get things done for their customers.   More on innovation...   More on Diversified Chemicals...

Key Question:


Only children and people who have never tried to do anything difficult think that they can get through life without failure.

Q:  How does a person look at failure and call it success? Even harder, how does one experience failure and call it success?

A:  Critics and cynics who are very often academics who have opted out of the free entreprise system when they get tenure, tend to look at entrepreneurs and think we are blinded by ambition, arrogant, or just plain stupid when we tell people that our failure is really a success.

We all know in advance that we will fail on the way to success. We expect it. Joe Dannis didn't expect it to take him seven years to create his product but that didn't mean he quit before he reached his goal. And, you need to know that the founders of Diversified Chemicals were more surpised at their success than they had been at their earlier failures.

We are optimists who see the glass half full and we are willing to work hard to achieve big goals. Most business owners and entrepreneurs are bored with easy goals and even get a thrill from some setbacks. We see them as challenges and we learn from them.

Last Christmas we were visiting with family. Our niece Toni, who is a new mother, called her girlfriend a "waaaa-waaaa." We asked, "What's a waaaa-waaaa?" Toni quipped, "It's a wuss or a wimp. A milksop, Milquetoast, mollycoddle, namby-pamby, sissy or sop. It's more than a crybaby. It's somebody who should know what to do and should do it but they don't because they are scared or lazy or they are waiting for someone to do it for them."

This brought back memories of Marc Katz, founder of Katz Deli in Austin, Texas. Marc told us, "Running a business is not for wimps." And the reason this is true is that there is much failure on the road to success.

Think about it

When was the last time you experienced a small failure? A big failure? What did you learn from it? Do you need to make some more mistakes so you can learn even more?

Clip from: Innovation and Invention with Michael Novak

Washington, DC and around the world:  What drives people to challenge the status quo? go out into the unknown? try to create things that have never been seen before? Why do these people work so hard and stretch so far? Everybody talks about them, saying things like, "Crazy!" "They'll kill themselves."  "They're in a world of their own."  Yet, these daring people, driven by principles and dreams, are changing our world for the better.

We turned to scholar, Michael Novak, of the American Enterprise Institute for insights.  Novak would like to see this innovative spirit take root throughout the world. And, it is.

Diversified Chemical Technologies (GH)

George Hill, CEO

15477 Woodrow Wilson
Detroit, MI 48238

Visit our web site:

Office: 313-867-5444

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1971

See Failure as a Normal Occurrence

HATTIE: (Voiceover) It took Steve Hoffman over 20 years of trying to achieve what we see at his company today. 200 employees and 40 million in revenue, but that only after years of working to perfect the printing techniques. Joe Dannis, the creator of teaching tools for American sign language, spent seven years alone struggling to perfect his ideas. Diversified Chemicals broke through with a new product only after it invested heavily in research, which always includes paying for the cost of failure. So you hit a homerun with this?

DR. RAJAN EADARA: Yes, this is all conceived here in this laboratory, through the discussion of people. So that is where open mindedness helps. People come up with ideas -- which we can implement into practice very, very easily.

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