Learn to Fail Fast

Success Failure Sign PostAll your life you’ve been taught that self-worth comes from success, not failure. This is a complete lie. It’s true that success is great and wonderful and a worthy goal to pursue.

But what worth is it if you didn’t learn anything?

We learn the most from our failures not our successes (assuming that we open our minds to learn from them).

Okay, so maybe you’ve heard this before. So what does it all mean? It seems all too philosophical, “In order to succeed, one must fail.”

For me, it’s about learning. It’s about the journey. If you don’t struggle to find the best answer possible, you won’t appreciate it once you have it.

Now there the phenomenon that proves this wrong when an individual gets lucky. That person will be hard pressed to duplicate the success, however, not knowing how he got it to begin with.

So perhaps the definition of success can be defined as someone who doesn’t quit after failing. Better yet, someone who learns from failure, pivots the line of thought, makes improvements, and then keep moving forward.

One of my all-time favorite professional sports figures, Michael Jordan, said it best:

I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

According to Mike, if you aren’t failing, you aren’t succeeding. Perhaps due to fear of failure we hold back and do nothing. We may not fail, but we definitely won’t succeed and that is a true failure.

The same is true with a company launching a new product or service.

Tina Seelig, Executive Director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, reports that failure is the secret sauce of Silicon Valley?

Tina Seelig Fail Fast and Frequently

So what’s my newest failure? I was using my precious side developing time to create a blog from scratch using AWS when I could be creating an awesome new cloud service. On top of that, I got my February bill from AWS and it was costing way too much than I was willing to pay.

That is what led me to convert my blog back to WordPress. That will help me focus and it actually frees up a lot of stress.

My Finish Year 2012 goal of creating a website with AWS is now complete. Yay! Now it’s on to the next one.

Question: What are your thoughts on failing fast and frequently in order to ultimately succeed?

Twitter in Live Theatrical Performances

Imagine going to see a Shakespeare play. Before the show begins, you are not told to turn off your phone. Instead you are told to turn on your phone and login to twitter.

Now during the show, the audience is tweeting with each other and members of the cast and production staff.

It’s hard to imagine how this experience would actually turn out since a lot of it is determined by what you and others are actually tweeting and how that might translate to the performance on stage.

This has been an interest of mine and I want to try it out.

There’s not a lot of production companies using social media as part of its show, but I found a great article by Gwydion Suilebhan called Theater, Twitter, and Revolution.

He talks a lot about how play writers can use twitter during the creation process.

My favorite quote is by Alli Houseworth who said:

So much of the social media work I do at Woolly is all about transparency. How can I open up the proverbial doors of how we create work to our online audiences? My theory is that the more my audience feels invested in the process of creating new work, the more they will value the experience of attending it liveā€¦ I want our process to no longer be mysterious, elitist, or something that’s created in a far off room with closed doors.

It seems that there is a group out there that is making social media work when it comes to creating pieces of art.

But what about using twitter during the show?

Suilebhan talks about the Playground Theater whose performances morph as the audience tweets. I would like to experience that.

Okay, the Playground Theater seems to be an improve theater. Can this work with a more traditional theater? What if you don’t want to morph the performance?

Or is morphing a performance a natural extension of using social media during the show?

These are questions I want to experiment with and try to answer.

Question: What are your thoughts? Would you be interested in seeing a play/musical that encouraged you to tweet during the show? What would you want that experience to be like?