Fail Fast

In system design, a fail-fast system is one which immediately reports at its interface any condition that is likely to indicate a failure. Fail-fast systems are usually designed to stop normal operation rather than attempt to continue a possibly flawed process.

  • The term has been widely employed as a metaphor in business, dating back to at least 2001,[1] meaning that businesses should undertake bold experiments to determine the long-term viability of a product or strategy, rather than proceeding cautiously and investing years in a doomed approach. It became adopted as a kind of "mantra" within startup culture, i.e. "Fail fast, fail often."

cf Andon Cord

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