Doesn’t it really come down to defining “failure” itself. My sense has always been failure is only a failure when you choose to not get back up again. Yet, sometimes when I choose not to get back up again, it is a strategic move. Maybe I don’t want to get back up again because getting knocked down served as a type of inspiration to make a different move I’d never considered. Context around the word “failure” is so very important.
Really, when it comes down to it, “failure” is a state of mind. If I find myself in the middle of negative self-talk tellig myself I’m a failure, I find that it is simply loser mentality setting in and I need to change my attitude.
As far as the phrase “fail fast and fail often,” is concerned; I really think this is pointing to, “learn as much as you possibly can from your own weaknesses, your own mistakes and how to correct course in order to achieve success as quickly and as abundantly as possible, then do the same thing with other people’s mistakes and short comings.” However, that just doesn’t have the slick ring to it that, “Fail fast and fail often,” does. So I suppose part of it too is poetic license.