Work on Stuff that Matters: First Principles
Tim O'Reilly

The Grameen Bank’s Microfinance approach has by now turned out to be not that effective after all. But I suppose their intentions where pure. (Here is one article I just googled, not sure which one is the best: ).

As for “don’t be afraid of failure”, I wonder if you would qualify that by degree of failure? There is the “oh well, that didn’t work, let’s try something else” failure and the “oh well, I lost my job and my home and will have to live on the street” kind of failure.