What if your boss told you to use Facebook's mantra -- move fast and break things -- and meant it?

How would you feel about that direction? Certainly, you couldn't be proud of making a mistake and accidentally shutting down your website, right? Or maybe you intuitively know it makes sense, but worry that your boss actually means "move fast and you better not break things."

Where do you draw the line? What's acceptable to break, and how much? And if you cross it will you lose your job?

Here are the principles I used to experiment without fear as CEO, building Blinds.com to eventually being acquired by Home Depot:

1. The attempt to avoid failure makes failure more likely.

Never try, never know.

2. The more structure you have, the more spontaneous you can be.

More chaos equals less time to be spontaneous. Structure your life and business to have the time and energy to be spontaneous. When you know where the path is, you can always stray a bit, then come back, and still be going in the right direction.

3. Tackle the most daunting obstacle first.

Tackle the most daunting obstacle first because if you can't solve it, all the time and money you'll spend on the small stuff will be wasted.

4. The bigger your ambition, the more important it is to get small wins.

Your confidence will increase as the wins increase.

5. Be experimental and risk-averse.

Never bet the farm if you don't have to. Lower returns with known risks are much better than higher returns with unknown risks. Always know your downside risk and if you can live with that, there is nothing to fear. Of course, low downside risks with the highest possible returns are where you should start.

6. Have several uncorrelated paths to your objectives; focus on one.

We never really know the right path. But there's nothing stopping you from taking multiple guesses -- but pick a lane.

7. The more impossible something seems, the more enticing it is to try.

Challenges drive us to be better. Embrace them. When something seems so far-fetched, it's hard to be rational about the headwinds, and that ignorance keeps you pursuing the vision.

To experiment is to be cognizant of failure. 

If you expect to succeed--and do succeed--every time you try something new, then you're not experimenting, and it's detrimental to think you are. 

Experimentation can be small--a new recipe for dinner, perhaps--or life-changingly, business-shiftingly large. To experiment without fear of failure, one must feel liberated to do so. It might mean the calculated downside risk is small enough that failure is worth it. 

On a company-wide scale, however, when your employees feel supported in their freedom to experiment--and their freedom to fail--things really take off. 

A leader who touts the freedom to experiment not only attracts like-minded employees but also keeps those innovative employees, too.

It's worth the risk (which is really no risk at all).