The topic of failure on the web

I was recently reading a blog post by Lidiya K on the topic of failure. She was kind enough to like one of my posts and as I explored her writing, she sites one of my favorite Thomas Edison quotes, “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that wont work.” In her post she samples many powerful ways that failure is in fact a positive.

In creating new digital interactions, campaigns, products and service you cant help but fail sometimes. I have failed many times in different ways and those times though often painful helped me to achieve the greatest areas of learnings in life. When I failed as a manager, I worked harder to be a better manager. When I failed at a pitch, I worked harder to win the next one. I’m far from perfect but for me at least, times of growth often come through lows not highs.

To add a slight web angle to this top it’s interesting to note that failure is almost objectively a good thing when you research it on the web.

1) The conversation around failure online is surrounded by success: I have done a social sentiment analysis on the word failure. The conversations online around failure are not conversations about defeat but conversations about progress. If you do a simple word cloud around the term, words that appear are words such as success, progress, learning.

2) Failure is a topic that people can relate to: If you do a google search trend analysis on the term failure vs. success. The topic is searched for almost 5 failures to 1 success. People are seeking out this information because they too are going through it. There is empathy on the topic and its a universal human truth that at some point you will fail. It’s relatable.

3) There is humor in it if you can open your eyes to find it: I once spoke to Ben Huh, the owner of fail blog about this topic. Why is that blog and that meme so popular I asked. Because everyone can relate. There is humor in the lows, and when you find that humor, that’s when you learn and grow. There is a reason that comedians often talk about when things go wrong. If they only gloated about success, there is less to relate to.

Don’t forget that the greatest successes were wrought with failures. Walt Disney’s patent for a theme park was rejected 302 times before acceptance. Steve Jobs was at one point fired from Apple, the company he built. Oprah was seen as unfit for TV. The chairman of Sony’s first endeavor was rice cookers that couldn’t cook rice. Do you remember Virgin credit cards?

In creative, innovation and design we need to use failure to our advantage. Learn from it and grow from it.

 

 

Trying new things

Drones

It’s interesting how often we get into a routine and are resistant to breaking the mold. You would think that being in a creative field, change and breaking the mold would be the consistent norm. But more often than not we fall into patterns, ways of doing things, old habits.

http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/heres-what-would-happen-if-ad-agencies-hired-drones-employees-163251

That’s why we are constantly trying new things in the work place, what’s next, how can we morph. One silly example of this is our recent experience with drones. Im personally really interested in the technology, I guess we have to find now it’s practical application. Enjoy the video below.

The Power of Problems

One of my favorite quotes is from Einstein. “If I had only one hour to save the world, I would spend 55 minutes defining the problem and only five minutes finding the solution.”

One of the times that made me most proud was when a client offered me a substantial budget to help them discover more problems. It may seem counter intuitive, but clearly defining the problem I’ve learnt often can help you quickly resolve the issue or more clearly see what issues you should be resolving. More here at ClickZ:

http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2383230/the-power-of-problems

Momentum

There are a lot of things that motivate us in work. Some people are motivated by power, some by money, some by pride. One of the things that makes me happiest of all is making things that make a difference, that actually add value in peoples lives and gets our clients and teams noticed for their hard work. It’s fulfilling to make things I can show my friends, my family, that make them laugh, think or that they find useful. That motivates me. Within 3.5 hours this evening a few of the things that me and my team have been working on for the past few months all of a sudden got noticed, and it felt nice. But it was nicer the fact that it all happened within a few hours of one another.

5:50 PM – My sister texts me this image – a project we did for Pizza Hut made the “Love It” list for the Time magazine print edition. Even in a world of pixels, for some reason when they print it on paper it feels a bit more substantive.

photo (6)

At 6:30 PM a creative director I worked with and respect, posted on Facebook about a financial product that MRY recently helped incubate in house. He offered his critique. Then I noticed that it hit the top of product list. Here is a snap shot of the product ranking on producthunt.com where it reached top ranking yesterday.

Screen shot 2014-08-02 at 10.15.23 PM

At around 9:00 PM after a few drinks with my friend Tal, I noticed a NY times article on FB from a friend who works there talking about a session and a brand idea that MRY Health had come up with and a strategy the team created.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/03/technology/how-facebook-sold-you-krill-oil.html

Krill

In a creative world, it’s nice that the work is gaining momentum. Onward and upward.

Positive Reviews

I’ve hit somewhat of a small milestone. Writing and publishing online though a paradigm that I understand professionally is not a dynamic I pursue personally. Since starting on this journey, I have not promoted this blog and have made this more of a personal and counterintuitively subtle experiment in online publishing.

Today I got a nice surprise. I just got my first positive review for the writing on ClickZ.com as well as hitting the top of the list for most read. It’s a small milestone but motivates me to continue on this journey. To the 3 people who read this blog who probably include my wife and sister. Thanks.

 

What the History of Counterfeiting Can Teach Us About the Future of Digital Marketing

Screen shot 2014-06-01 at 10.22.21 PM

It’s great having one of the most read articles on ClickZ, a bit motivating to keep on writing. I always try to apply my personal life experience to my work experience. One can not help but be influenced by the way you grew up and what you saw as a young person. This article on is one representation of my life experiences intersecting with how I see my work life.

I hope you all enjoy!

http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2346393/what-the-history-of-counterfeiting-can-teach-us-about-the-future-of-digital-marketing

The Definition of Insanity

I am a real believer in not doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome (a thought widely attributed to Einstein). But in my work and personal life, I see this paradigm of perpetuating past behavior play out daily. It’s amazing how incredibly hard habits are to break. We often think of bad habits as something only exhibited in our personal lives (eating too much, smoking). But in fact , routine can be a huge deterrent to professional innovation. Here are two pieces that speak to this theme.

http://www.agencypost.com/the-problem-with-habits-a-lesson-at-sxsw/

This article covers how habits force us into similar activities as exhibited in themes at SXSW.

http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/television/17810.html

The years of relying on TV as a primary driver for marketing is a powerful habit, one that will take years to shift.