This quote comes from Tim Harford, who argues that success is really just a product of failure. He believes we have to try, fail and quickly correct our mistakes in order to properly succeed. Because failure is just an inevitability, no matter who you are, the key is to get better at recovering from it rather than trying to avoid it altogether.
Harford suggests that there are a few key things we need to pay attention to when dealing with failure. First is avoiding the denial that we're wrong. He says, "It seems to be the hardest thing in the world to admit we've made a mistake and try to put it right. It requires you to challenge a status quo of your own making." Sometimes we'll go so far as to chase our losses just to avoid failure, as if accepting the failed situation will make all our effort worthless. In the end, we can't predict what's going to work. We can only experiment with trial and error. Failure is an important part of this process, and accepting it makes us capable of actually finding success in the long run.
For more information, check out the full article on The 99 per cent. For another take on the same idea, check out this article in the New York Times.
Why Success Always Starts With Failure [The 99 Percent]