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Publisher's Summary

For fans of Drive, Outliers, and Daring Greatly, a counterintuitive, paradigm-shifting new take on what makes people and companies succeed.
Most new products fail. So do most small businesses. And most of us, if we are honest, have experienced a major setback in our personal or professional lives. So what determines who will bounce back and follow up with a home run? If you want to succeed in business and in life, Megan McArdle argues in this hugely thought-provoking book, you have to learn how to harness the power of failure. McArdle has been one of our most popular business bloggers for more than a decade, covering the rise and fall of some the world' s top companies and challenging us to think differently about how we live, learn, and work. Drawing on cutting-edge research in science, psychology, economics, and business, and taking insights from turnaround experts, emergency room doctors, venture capitalists, child psychologists, bankruptcy judges, and mountaineers, McArdle argues that America is unique in its willingness to let people and companies fail, but also in its determination to let them pick up after the fall. Failure is how people and businesses learn. So how do you reinvent yourself when you are down? Dynamic and punchy, McArdle teaches us how to recognize mistakes early to channel setbacks into future success. The Up Side of Down marks the emergence of an author with her thumb on the pulse whose book just might change the way you lead your life.
©2014 Megan McArdle (P)2014 Recorded Books
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Ray on 05-21-14

Good Book

First of all, this isn't a self-help book (fortunately). Rather it is an interesting look at some solid research with the author's own failings as a minor backdrop.

Some of her examples seem to go a little far afield to make the point, but she manages to tie it all up pretty tightly before she's done. That a successful life requires a little friction isn't entirely new of course, but nothing in the book is tired or rehashed and all in all the reader walks away with some pretty good insight.

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20 of 23 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Wayne on 11-24-15

The importance of failing well to success

There are a lot of possible ways to express the premise of The Up Side of Down. The one I like best is, "success is unlikely unless you first risk, and likely experience, failure". Failure is a great teacher. The concept is hardly new, but Megan McArdle provides so great examples from personal lives and businesses. McArdle is a journalist with an MBA degree. She currently writes a business and political opinion column each weekday for Bloomberg View. She has worked for the Economist, The Atlantic, and several other publications.

I first became of familiar with McArdle's work when two months after 9/11/2001 she worked to help clean up the WTC site and blogged about it in the evenings. I have followed her career since. She is responsible for Jane's Law of US politics; "The devotees of the party in power are smug and arrogant. The devotees of the party out of power are insane." She was blogging at the time under the pen name Jane.

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6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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