A Catastrophe of Start-Up Mantras
As always I appreciate you avoid binary thinking. The question isn’t whether “fail fast” is right or wrong, it is in which circumstances it should be applied. Website design? Maybe, with caveats. Submarine construction? No.
“OceanGate’s CEO, Stockton Rush, lived up to his name”
I love this kind of witty writing!
Seems like a complete misapplication of the slogan to me.
You build a minimum viable product/fail early fail often... prototype/proof of concept. The beta test is a few iterations away, and the final product a few more.
The slogans work great when used like that, because the only way to know if something works is really to try it.
We don't know yet what the cause of the submersible's failure was, but it seems likely that it was the carbon fiber hull or the integration of that fiber hull with the titanium end-caps.
Carbon fiber is a fickle material. NASA's X-33 tried to use carbon fiber fuel tanks, it went kaboom and ended the program. Carbon fiber overlapped helium tanks brought a SpaceX Falcon 9 down, in a freak occurrence in what is otherwise a super-reliable rocket.
SpaceX's Starship rocket was originally supposed to be built from carbon fiber as well, SpaceX had a full-sized prototype underway, along with a factory and expensive machinery already in place, when Elon Musk had the sense to admit he was wrong and go back to metal.