There’s a lot of chatter in the Social Web about failing fast and often, getting comfortable with failure since it’s part of the innovation process or how failure breeds success. One of the few voices opposing this view is Alex Bogusky, who rather celebrates success and forgets about failures.

When you’re encouraged to fail constantly because success will come at one point, you’re like a gambler in Vegas placing small bets on Roulette tables. $10 here, $10 here. The biggest payout you’ll be able to collect is $350. Not bad. Not life-changing. Just an incremental change in the right direction. The path to mediocrity is paved with small successes and small failures.

To be a real change agent, to dramatically transform anything, you have to give yourself the right to be wrong. Dead wrong. De Lorean wrong. What’s so bad about being wrong? If you’re never wrong, it indicates you’re not growing.

When I switched agencies a while back, I took all my knowledge and digital arrogance, and recommended a specific buy/campaign/tactic. When the numbers came back, I was devastated. Not one metric worked out. Not one. My initial instinct was to look at the creative, the testing, tried to cite best practices, what competitors are doing – just find a way to qualify it as a success through other objectives. But I was so wrong with my recommendation that I just had to admit to it: I was wrong. Dead wrong. I wasted your money. The client signed the check. And we continued to work together.

Having the freedom to be wrong is a big relief and gives you intellectual freedom. On the other hand, failures are often transformed into fake successes by focusing on other metrics/objectives: “We didn’t generate any leads but user engagement was high.” Trying to slowly transform the failure into a Phyrric victory.

Stop it.

Don’t let that human right to be wrong become extinct by replacing it with acceptable, so-so or good enough. Create a culture where being wrong is part of the human experience. Being wrong eventually leads to being right. And it’s a much more interesting journey than the murky path of small failures.