Celebrate Your Failure

Failure is one of the best ways to learn. Usually people fail because they are trying something new no one tried before. But, after you fail you get to learn something new, and that’s your key to success. We need to start changing our mentality. We need to accept failure as part of the process to reach success. We even need to celebrate failure.

When Google Wave shut down in 2010, Eric Shmidt said:

Remember, we celebrate our failures. This is a company where it’s absolutely OK to try something that’s very hard, have it not be successful, and take the learning from that

Also when a reporter asked Thomas Edison “how does it feel to have failed two thousand times to create the electric filament?

Thomas Edison replied:

I have not failed, not once.  I’ve discovered ten thousand ways that don’t work.

Moreover, Vinod Khosla the co-founder of Sun Microsystems and the billionaire investor once said  “The willingness to fail is the key ingredient in success

The problem with failure is with how people look at you after you fail. If you can find people that understand the value of failure, then these guys are the people that you want to be with after you declare your failure. I believe we can learn a lot from each other failures and we just need to be more open about it so that everyone can learn and avoid doing the same mistakes.

In the US they have a conference for that!! Yes, a conference for failures called FailCon. FailCon is a one-day conference for technology entrepreneurs, investors, developers and designers to study their own and others’ failures and prepare for success. FailCon speakers are the most successful entrepreneurs, and the event is not only running in the US, but also in France, Brazil and Australia.

We need something like that in Kuwait. As a start, I’m willing to buy you dinner or a cup of coffee to celebrate your failure. I’m also willing to accept anyone invitation to celebrate my previous failures 🙂

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  1. Mohammad MJ

     /  August 3, 2012

    Brilliant! In the context of startups in Kuwait, however, celebrating failure might be a little more difficult. If a startup is funded by an entity like Kuwait Small Project Development Company, and assuming they cover up 80% (if they really like and believe in the idea), then celebrating failure is more feasible since the startup shared the cost with investors who went in knowing there’s a chance for failure.

    But if a small group of people start a company by taking massive loans from banks, for example, then failure may just discourage them from taking any sort of risk altogether, let alone celebrate failure and learn from it for their next venture.

    But it certainly makes sense to “teach” people that it’s rare for people to just succeed out of the blue; many people fail many times over (and learn from their failures) before they succeed, as you have illustrated in your examples.

  2. Don’t know about Kuwait, but FailCon just entered Dubai. FailCon Dubai is scheduled to happen on the 3rd of July. You can check it out on http://www.dubai.thefailcon.com

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