There’s a fantastic line between failure and prudence, and Fortune’s Jeremy Kahn illustrates the divide properly in his new function about British inventor James Dyson’s choice to kill his long-sought electrical automobile.

It is a actually essential story for entrepreneurs, particularly in Silicon Valley, to learn. At 72, Dyson is one thing of a residing legend for a purpose. His dwelling home equipment broke the mildew in a drained class. (Bagless vacuum cleaners? Bladeless followers? Who does that?) As a enterprise chief, he has accomplished all of it: nice design, efficient advertising, ample earnings. Furthermore, he has stored whole management of his firm, making him the U.Ok.’s richest individual—and largest landowner.

So when James Dyson, performing on a longstanding dislike of smoke-belching engines, determined he might make an electrical automobile, many had been keen to offer him the advantage of the doubt regardless of the audacity and big prices concerned. He had concepts round a extra environment friendly design and higher batteries. And he claims he made his automobile. The issue is that he didn’t really feel he might compete with a worldwide auto trade that was underpricing its autos. As an actual proprietor of an actual firm that made actual merchandise, you see, Dyson felt the necessity to make a revenue, or no less than be capable of present when he’d make one.

It’s a radical concept in lots of components of Silicon Valley.

So don’t cry for James Dyson. He dedicated to spending $2.5 billion on his automobile and, though he received’t say how a lot he spent, his firm does plan to include the concepts it dreamt up into different merchandise. Dyson demonstrates that to fail prudently is much nobler than by no means having risked within the first place and smarter than throwing monetary warning to the wind.

Adam Lashinsky

On Twitter: @adamlashinsky

E-mail: [email protected]

This version of Knowledge Sheet was curated by Aaron Pressman.

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