Welcome to Lessons of Failure. If you were looking for another blog about Dot Com Bazillionaires running around in limos post-IPO, well, sorry. Try Google for someone else. That’s not me.
I’ve spent the better part of two decades now as a professional computer geek (even longer as a rank amateur) and if there’s one thing I know about by now, it’s failure. Everything from small fuse-popping, whoops-don’t-put-120V-on-an-electrolytic-capacitor failure, to Holy Sh*t! Dad-is-gonna-KILL-us-when-he-finds-out-about-this failure.
My background as a consultant gives me a unique perspective in the software industry. Sort of like a bystander during an auto accident. Or walking into the back of a bar mitzvah in a hotel. You’re there, but at the same time, you’re also divested of the outcome to a certain degree. Oh sure, you want success because it also happens to improve your chance of renewal at contract expiration time. But when the company suddenly transforms into a smoking crater, you’re still standing on the side covered in a bit of soot, unlike your coworkers that are now atomized. And hopefully a bit wiser, assuming you paid attention before the bomb went off.
Everyone knows the famous quote by George Santayana:
“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”
And that’s what this blog is about…learning from failure. Personal failure (like divorces). Industry failure (like the dot-com bust). Company failure (like Enron). Learn or repeat. Easy to say. Hard to practice.
Having failed to learn a few times and, ahem, received a chance to repeat the mistake, this blog will explore failure on all those levels and more. Fail fast, fail often, but for heaven’s sake, at least learn something.