The problem with being too busy to read is that you learn by experience… i.e. the hard way. By reading, you learn through others’ experiences, generally a better way to do business…General James Mattis
The most successful people in any profession learn from the experiences of others. You can learn from their successes, sure. But don’t focus on doing things exactly they way they did, you’ll stifle your own innovation. Instead, understand their successes, extract relevant lessons, and forge your own path.
More importantly, learn from others’ failures and mistakes.
That’s why I publish a Reading / Listening List. As of the publishing of this article, 5 of the 6 recommendations are about poor engineering and design1. I find these stories fascinating, enlightening, and valuable. By avoiding the pitfalls of the past, we improve the likelihood of success in our own projects.
It’s okay to make mistakes, but strive to at least make original mistakes.