It is OK To fail!

bag001It is important to note, yesterday I talked about the butterfly that I chase, new technology. I didn’t go with any of the other eastern metaphors, such as the monkey mind or others. Why was that? Because I believe that in fact, it’s ok to chase your butterfly.

Each of us has one. A butterfly. Mine, as noted yesterday is technology, but in particular the reality of technology that isn’t in the consumer market yet. New or cutting edge technology. Contrary, by the way to rumors started by some people I know, I didn’t buy a boat just to have a whole new Avenue of new tech to explore.

New tech is an interesting butterfly. I gave a talk on innovation yesterday. The audience was high tech professionals, so I was speaking to an audience that understood the topic. I wandered around what I perceive to be the huge change in innovation in the last five years. The rise of crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding is interesting because frankly, my butterfly loves to be in the space. There are more interesting technologies proposed on crowdfunding. Today, what was is no more. It used to be that innovators would join the R&D department of a large company and then bide their time. Or, working on another idea the company is interested in, make an accidental discovery. That was how post it notes, and many other things appeared.

bag008Now they go out on their own and start a company. They don’t, however, have the built in knowledge of how manufacturing works. Or how to make sure their timeline is correct. Many crowdfunding projects fail in that area. They estimate 1 year to complete the project and then 2, 3 and 4 years later they are struggling. The reality of innovation is a failure.

I had the fortune of speaking to a couple of professionals I greatly admire (3 of them in fact) and all three talked about the glory of failure. It is ok to fail. Now, once you have taken money, failure isn’t an option but it is ok to fail to meet your original timeline.

The sue birds appear but ignore them. They are the drivers who cut you off on the highway. Speed ahead and get into an accident later, and they give you the finger as you drive slowly by. It was your fault they cut you off. When those folks back projects that are a day late, they post comments and send messages threatening to sue. I call them sue birds, because once one posts the rest of them flock in and start posting.

Innovation takes time.

Imagine for a moment this conversation. (it is an in-person conversation because the phone doesn’t exist nor will it in this alternative universe.)

“Alexander, Tom glad the two of you could stop by. First off great work both of you so far. But listen I am really sorry but you haven’t delivered and frankly, we are pulling the plug so to speak on your projects. Alex, we just aren’t sure people are going to walk to talk to disembodied voices so we are killing this project you call Telephone. And Tom, the light bulb, a bit disappointing that we can’t see you here in this dark candle lit room, but we are canceling the light bulb also!”

butterfly 2It is ok to fail.

It is also ok to chase your butterfly. Don’t ever catch your butterfly. That isn’t the goal, the goal is to on a summer’s day, with a warm breeze around you to follow your butterfly where it may lead. You never know what you may see along the way to following your butterfly! I think my butterfly talks to my inner child. I have loved technology since I was tiny. I love how things come together and work! I am going to stop now and see what my butterfly is looking for.

Images today provided by Henry O Andersen


tech fan, butterfly chaser!