Saturday, April 7, 2018

There are No Failures

Failures have never been terminal. If you failed, your legacy was never bound to your failure unless you gave up. Mark Cuban had started multiple companies that failed but we don't associate him with failure. We associate him with his many successes that came after. The same with Mark Zuckerberg. He talks about his multiple failed websites before he started Facebook. We don't associate him with his failures either. In fact, nowadays these successful people talk about these failures as a badge of honor.

Although the effect of failure has not changed much over time, I think today our views of failures have changed. And that's a big deal. Because of the power of the internet and our growing access to mainstream successful people, we are able to get a better view of their journey to success. One of the common factors is that none of these successful people got there without failing and learning and improving. Google CEO Sundar Pichai talks about his failures and tells us to wear it as a badge of honor. We all see how young Elon Musk couldn't get a job at Netscape and how Paypal was originally voted as one of the worst business ideas. Even in recent times we've witnessed his many rocket explosions and his challenges with his companies are published everywhere in the media. Since we can follow a long on Facebook and Twitter we see this journey of success differently.

That gives me confidence in the future of humanity. I think our young entrepreneurs will have a lower bar to entry. Much of the difficulties is overcoming the stories we tell ourselves and criticisms from family and peers, possibly even more than the actual work. I'm glad to see people jump right into manifesting their dreams and that gives me confidence to do the same.

Today there is really little stigma around failure. Companies won't look down on someone who tried starting a company, instead they might higher that person because they took risks. If I heard of a peer try out a new experience, rather than laugh at him, I look up to him and am curious about his experience. That experience is valuable. This might be a trend starting mostly in Silicon Valley but I think the trend will continue.

Today we have so much opportunity and many of us have shed the fears that once held many back and decided to take advantage of those opportunities. The time to chase your dreams and risk failure has never been better. What are you afraid of?