This week it was raining constantly in the Veneto region, very uncommon at the end of May. I was thinking a lot about failure because of personal reasons (end of school is approaching and my daughters’ dreaded parents – teacher conferences are coming up) and because of professional ones (a firm I’ve been working closely with is On the Brink of Bankruptcy).
When I grew up, failure was something you tried to avoid, or at least hide. Today in marketing , we are taught to embrace failure, nay, encourage it…learning from failure is apparently the best way for a business to move forward. All this is backed up by research upon research and fascinating articles, which I read ‘cover to cover’ (can I still use this in a digital age?) and which made me feel really good, since I’m apparently, doing something right!
These articles encourage us to look at failure, not as a something negative, but as an experiment with interesting and unexpected results that should be learned from and stored away for future reference, and shouldn’t, under any circumstance, reflect personally on our: inefficiency, inability to understand simple instructions, lack of concentration, incapacity to follow things through, weakness for anything sweet, clumsiness, lack of diplomacy and the uncanny ability to ‘put our foot in it’ at any given moment.
in this week’s lesson, I’ve separated the cases in which failure is educational and enlightening, like the exciting accidental discovery of bubble wrap, and cases in which, I’m sorry but it’s strictly a ‘half glass empty’ situation, like a bad breakup, that teaches you mostly urban orientation (location of nearest pubs, all night drug stores and the odd drive by his new girlfriend’s house for egging and what not). Basically, the more personal the failure, the less we’re inclined to learn from it.
After thoroughly discussing everyone’s failures (not so much as a learning experience for them as much as a moral boost for me), we’ll go over famous historical failures and some fun famous product failure and accidental successes.
‘live long and prosper, and don’t forget to fail…a lot’
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