How to Fail (like Edison) Without Failing Horribly

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
― Thomas A. Edison

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”
― Truman Capote

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
― Winston Churchill

Famous quotes that you see on posters in your classrooms and on bumper stickers. The message: failure is awesome; failure is necessary; i’m successful cuz I failed!!

It’s a wisdom that’s becoming ever more conventional, and it’s scary, because still, many of us still associate failure with

  1.  throwing an event and having 5% of Facebook RSVPs actually attend
  2.  promising an outcome and not achieving it
  3.  recruiting a team for the fall semester and it turns out they all suck

Trust me, we get how hard it is to translate the advice on failure into actual actions within your organization. So here’s a different way to think about it:

Experiment and Prototype. There are ways to fail on a very small scale. Remember in chem lab when you had to do titration, and you thought that turning the lever on your buret degrees would get the perfect flow of acid/base and then BOOM you’re wrong and all you’re left with is really pink liquid and disappointment? Do you remember what you did next?

You started all over and turned the lever (x-3) degrees.

Whether you’re running a 2000-person conference, building solar lamps for a small village, planning a small dialogue on social justice issues, YOU CAN EXPERIMENT. Before waiting until the final product to test whether everything your team has planned is viable, start modeling smaller,  beginner versions of the actual goal. You can

-attend similar events and observe the dynamic + outcome

-ask 5 friends of friends to sacrifice 2 hours to participate in a beta-version. Promise them pizza.

ETC. You’ll learn so much about what can go wrong and what can go right, without sacrificing your org’s dignity or time.

Collect Feedback. You’ve probably sent out user feedback surveys of some sort after completing a project. Don’t just reserve the feedback for post-production! Start collecting some data during the decision process.

You’ll have to decide on logos and designs.

You’ll have decide what your audience values more: x, y, or z? (let x= expert speakers, y=networking z= food, etc.)

You’ll be deciding on a lot of things. And it’s easy to get into stagnant debates with your team about what will work, or what the most “effective” plan is, but honestly, testimonials and unfounded statements are a thing of the past. Since when were you an expert and representative for the hundreds/thousands of people you’re catering to?

Drop your emotional attachments and SUPPORT. WITH. EVIDENCE. You’ll discover that a. you were totally wrong about your assumption, b. you were totally right about your assumption c. whoa didn’t even realize ___ was possible!

Identify Worst-Case Scenarios. Sometimes it’s not feasible to do any of the above. Now you find yourself in a hour-long + counting discussion with your team, and honestly, it’s going nowhere.

Once upon a time, in an MPowered exec meeting, we had been arguing about whether or not to contact an important leader on campus. Chris gave his reasons for no. Cathy gave her reasons for yes. I said, “but couldn’t so-and-so happen? There’s no point.” Shreyas and Lucy tried to mediate and structure the conversation. We weren’t getting anything done.

So, instead of flooding our senses with millions of outcomes and arguments, we distilled the discussion into two parts:

best-case scenario  || worst-case scenario

These are two blatant extremes that rid your conversation of fallacy-filled statements. Getting everyone to understand that BOTH are possible, maybe one more likely than the other, and then moving onto how to ensure the best-case scenario.

 

These techniques for small-scale failure can help your organization be smarter, faster, and more relevant.

 

 

 

Advertisements

4 Reasons You’ll Be Fine Now That You’ve Broken Up With Him

This is for my friends who’ve just gotten out of their relationships. There are a few things I want you to know about how I think of you:

1. You’re strong. 

Like, not in the muscular “I can lift more than 10 lbs. on the tricep machine” strong (but if you can, HUGE props. That shit’s hard.) More in the, you’ve got enough guts to put yourself in an uncomfortable situation, put your loved ones in an uncomfortable situation, and invest in your own happiness, strong. That takes strength and I don’t know how many nights or minutes you spent debating your choice, but ultimately you flexed your soul muscle and made one. And whether or not  you’re happy right now at this exact moment, you took a risk. You’re strong.

2. You’re growing. 

You’re spending your summer learning things that you couldn’t have even anticipated you’d be doing, one year ago. That is a fact. You’re like living in foreign locations, working with amazing people who are teaching you bunches, and taking down mental notes of how you want the next year to be like.

You’re changing and it wouldn’t be right for you to go backward. So if you find that you nostalgia for your former bf is taking you to pre-you periods, stop for a second and fucking look forward. To where you wanna be. What that is. And how much it fucking has to do with YOU and not HIM.

3. You’re hot..

Maybe this is just a coincidence that my friends are all goodlooking human beings, but you’re most likely pretty hot. Most likely, your brain is hot, your legs are hot, and your butt is  pretty hot too.

ENJOY this hotness–this value that you add to the world. People are happy that they get to spend more time with you, and that you have more brain space to focus on them. They want you so bad 🙂

4. Don’t worry, you’re not missing any pieces.

I know for a while people have identified you as one half of a unit. And it’s sorta like losing a leg now that you’re not in a relationship anymore. You’re not sure how people perceive it; you’re not even sure if you like this new loneliness.

Like I told my wonderful friend in an emergency text, you’ve just been wearing a cast on your leg for the past year+. Now that it’s off, your skins all tender and paler than the rest of your body and it’s awkward. People are looking at you weird. You have a limp. Well that’s not gonna last forever. A little movement and time will do the the trick. And guess what, you can RUN again. You’re the fucking Little Mermaid after she’s popped legs on. So GO. DANCE. It’s gonna be uncomfortable at first.

 

I love you all! Comment if you’re one of those people who likes to comment on things on the Internet 🙂

_____________________________________________________________

Here are some cheesy links to other “get over ex” posts so that I can get more traffic to my post:

How To Let Go of a Relationship

How To Get Over Your Ex

10 reasons Why You’re Awesome.

feel free to follow me on Twitter where I’m way funnier!

3 Effortless Tricks to Being a Better Person

1. Look the homeless person in the eye.

If you’re in a city or a place with streets and traffic lights, there are bound to be a few homeless people. Some are even familiar faces that you see every single freaking day. And it’s easy to coincidentally avert your eyes when passing them by; it’s very easy to not read the signs they write every single day to get your attention.

Well tomorrow, look them in the eye. This is obviously not going to bring value to them, but more yourself. By looking them in the eye ,you will look yourself in the eye and see exactly how much better your life is, and how little you can do for them (or how much you CAN do for them). This discomfort may prompt action on your part, or it may not. Your choice.

2. Stop and listen when someone’s talking to you.

We’ve got phones, books, computers, and reflections to distract us all day. So when someone comes up to you–whether it be a friend, a boss, a random author who’s trying to sell his book, or someone on the subway–stop what you’re doing for a sec and listen.

STOP means close your book, take off your headphones completely and turn off the music, CLOSE your laptop (YEAH, CLOSE it. It’s hard because then you have to turn it on later but this action makes huge differences) and maybe even take notes.

Listening more = opening your perceptions up to a whole host of details you never paid attention to before. Listening more also = stronger, more respectful relationship.

3. Don’t look in the mirror in the morning or at work.

This is something I used to do a lot–I’d avoid my puffy reflection in the morning and my huge pores and go to work. And I found that not knowing what I looked like that morning helped me focus a lot more on being…smarter, funnier, nicer, more intuitive. I don’t know if this works for everyone, honestly, but just try it. Instead of zooming in on that pimple and letting it ruin your entire day, think about how you can make your company convert more sales, engage more users, etc.

For more tips and tricks to be less of a loser at life…feel free to follow me on Twitter.

Fore more tips on being a better person, check out Thought Catalog’s list, and Frisky’s.

|3 Tricks to Being a Better Person|

trying something new here

I’ve started a lot of blogs and have fantacized about growing readership, but never really went out and publicized myself. I was even too afraid of posting to facebook or Twitter when I wrote a new post.

Well now I’ve read a lot of fluffy startup tips on how to create good blog content. And I wanna prototype it. And express myself y’know that gooey stuff.

So bear with me while I try to grow a readership of 10,000 unique visitors a month 🙂

Intended Audience:  

age: 18-25

race: asian, brown, mabye white, and black

If you get offended while reading…er well please don’t leave mean Youtube comments! I hate those.