Goldilocks tests

I was speaking to my friend Allan Kelly at the Agile Cambridge conference and he mentioned he's reading a book about the maths of production. It contains a proof: rare failures that take a long time to fix are much much worse than frequent failures that get fixed fast. This is perhaps a counter-intuitive result to the way many people think. It may mean you'd be better off with more tests failing.

It's the goldilocks effect.
Is the porridge too hot or too cold or just right?
Are the beds too hard or too soft or just right?

Do you want tests always failing?
Do you want tests never failing?
Or do you want tests sometimes failing?

You want enough to give you some confidence that your tests are testing areas where defects exist. Because exist they surely do.
You want enough to keep the code current in the developers' consciousness. So they grok it. So they can fix fast.
You want enough to keep the developers' defect fixing skills sharp. So they can fix fast.