This work focuses on the separate roles played by success and failure – two key dimensions of organizational experience - upon organizational learning. In contrast to some prior literature, I find that organisations learn more effectively from successes than failures and from first-hand failure experience than from others’ failures. I also find that the matter of whether failure is or is not related to the firm makes no difference to its effect on performance. I also extend other work on learning from failure by introducing the twin concepts of related and unrelated learning and first-hand and vicarious learning. The research is conducted in the context of the biotech industry.