Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I've listened to two separate podcasts lately that dealt somewhat with the issue of failure. The first was the Nerdist podcast with Tim Ferriss. In the podcast he said that he learned at a young age to view failure as feedback. That's an interesting perspective. Instead of failing and giving up look at failure as a way seeing how not to do a certain thing. Like Thomas Edison talking about working on the electric light bulb; "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

The second podcast was Tapestry with the designer Bruce Mau. One of the things he talked about was how most people think about creativity and the finished product. Most of us think that the finished product leapt into the world fully formed. The process that leads to a finished painting, play, song, etc is loaded with failure, sometimes more failure than success. He says "Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child)."

These are great perspectives for me as I have a tendency to give up when faced with failure. Is there a point though, after failing over and over at something where you decide "Maybe this isn't for me?", "Maybe I can't do this?". Are we meant to succeed at everything we do? Do we start certain things and then realize after failing that maybe we don't want to do whatever it is?

Anyway, I'm off to do some failing! Hope my boss doesn't mind....

1 comment:

  1. Great perspective! Someone mentioned this to me this weekend at the CNSE concerning my blog: "it was really a work in progress, wasn't it?" For certain. I don't agree with everything I blogged about steampunk - I said some things at the outset that don't mesh perfectly with where I've come - and I blew it twice in presentations on the weekend - people corrected me, and I thanked them - now I know better! Failure is all about learning. Thanks for the thoughts, Blaine!