When we interviewed superachievers for our book, we wanted to know how they had achieved their incredible success but in our conversations with them, something kept coming up that surprised us. As we dug into the chronologies of these people’s lives and careers, we found that even more than their triumphs, it was failure that actually shaped their stories of success. What is failure? What’s the science behind it? Is there an art to it? Why do some people collapse in the face of it while others actually profit from it?
It’s become our latest obsession.
Whenever we start something, we have that heady mix of optimism and fear: We’re optimistic that we’re on to something, we’re fearful that we’ll somehow not be able to fully communicate it. Exactly. The way. We’d planned. Going into our talk earlier this week at SXSW Interactive, we had an amazing tech crew, videographer and support system that included our 8 year old daughter, Roxie, our 28-year-old surrogate daughter, Jenna, and a couple of college friends (Peter Propp, Marc Monseau) at the conference who came to our talk in lieu of doing, oh, about a thousand other SXSW-ish things. We also had a great audience.
The stakes were high. We had about an hour of material, concepts, principles, anecdotes. We had nearly a hundred of Josh’s kickass slides. And during the talk and in the twenty minutes of Q&A that followed (a time we love because we get to engage with the audience and hear what interests them), unbeknownst to us, a lovely woman in the second row was busy making a SketchNote.
Brava, Laura Ward. And many thanks.
More on failure coming soon.
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