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You can’t go back to square one.

 

I read a post on Seth Godin’s blog today that I wanted to reply to on his blog, but I couldn’t figure out how to reply. Maybe he doesn’t need to hear from us, but  I wanted to reply.

Here is a link to Seth’s blog post:

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2009/09/square-one-is-underrated.html

And here is Seth’s post in its entirety:

Square one is underrated

Perhaps the worst outcome most people can imagine when a project stutters is having to go, "all the way back to square one."

Apparently, square one is an unhappy place, and far away, too.

Hey, if you’re lost, if you’ve gone down the wrong road, it doesn’t make sense to speed up and keep racing down the wrong road. Instead, the smart thing is to go back to the last spot you were in where you had a chance to find the right road and start from there.

Square one: nicer than people expect.

Yes, it is discouraging to have to start over, but I would contend that it is not possible to go back to square one. Even if you throw everything away, and start all over, you are not back at the place you were when you originally started. When you started at the original square one, you didn’t know the problems you would encounter. You learned something during the project, even if it’s just to avoid the same mistakes.

When you start over at the new square one, you are actually further along than when your foot stepped off the first square one. The journey you took along squares two, three, and beyond led you to learn something. That path was not a failure, just a necessary detour. It led you to the new square one.

So, Seth, if you’re listening, rethink your blog and come join me on a new square one.

 

1 comment to You can’t go back to square one.

  • I think you and Seth are both right. He was working from with the context of the euphemism, that going back to square one was indeed even with the realm of reasonable possibility. You are laying out the groundwork that assuming square one is possible is it the same place you left, which is also a valid question to ask.

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