I’ve been feeling a little down lately. You know that feeling you get when just feel like you could be so much more? That feeling where you just aren’t living up to your full potential? I’ve been working my whole life to make a difference and just can’t get over this proverbial hump. I just want to make an impact, but I just can’t seem to get tha little break, a bit of luck, or mix in that missing ingredient, to blow this thing up worldwide.
I’ve been working my whole life to become a big time failure, but my small time failures just aren’t hitting the Richter Scale of Epic Failures.
Then, the other day, I read an article. It was about some of the world’s greatest failures and my heart dove. For the first time in a long time, I felt a renewed sense of purpose. There really are people out there, that achieve Epic Failure status, and it could happen for me. Here are some failures that knew how to do it right. First up, Blockbuster Employee.
In order to truly make a Failure Impact, you have to make just the right actions at just the wrong time. This guy parlayed his terrible customer service into the destruction of Blockbuster and the creation of Netflix at the same time. Not only did his terrible naivete motivate his customer to be upset, but he brought it to a whole other level. By enforcing the stupid late fee, he singlehandedly and indirectly created binge watching. His misattention to detail, created Orange is the New Black. His snarky attitude towards his customer created House of Cards. His late fee insistence made a good version of Daredevil possible. His arrogance took down Blockbuster itself. If he can do it, why couldn’t my bitterness be the downfall of Blockbuster and the rise of Netflix?
I can learn from this baker. I need to start thinking bigger. He saw the big picture. He wasn’t just trying to ruin a pie. He wasn’t just trying to multi-task horribly. He let his inner fire spread outly. He wasn’t just trying to burn the kitchen down. He wanted to watch the whole world burn. In the end, he only took down London, but then aiming at the moon, sometimes only destroys stars. It took guts, and a burning desire to take failure to this level. And his impact will be felt for many more years later as they named a festival in the Nevada desert after him, The Burning Man.
Being an Epic Fail as a company takes ingenuity, arrogance, and ignorance and Yahoo! has that in spades. They wanted to be the next billion dollar company, but something was preventing them from getting there. Opportunities came to them all the time. Companies that needed to be ignored. But only the biggest and potentially brightest up and comers that they ignored would make them an Epic failure. Though the company would did its best to be arrogant by their logo and name, the spectacular exclamation mark and company named after what a cowboy says when they wrangle cattle, their true arrogance was completely realized when they failed to purchase a company for a million that would have made them billions.
When you live right next to the most arrogant neighbor in the world, who thinks they run the world, it’s hard to get any attention. Just like a middle child trying to get attention, Air Canada did its best to become a spectacular failure, by forgetting that it’s stubborn brother is the only one in the world that uses the gallon system. In the end, Canada still couldn’t get the notoriety of its neighbor to the south, because it couldn’t produce the spectacular end disaster, and they ended up apologizing to their customers because they are so polite.
This is to all the employers and traditionalists that believe people need experience in the real world to fail spectacularly. Believe in your dreams of failure, no matter how young or inexperienced, because this person while being a mere grad student, with no experience in the real world, was able to create a natural disaster with just a little disregard. Thanks to their ignorance and mishandling, they skipped destroying saplings, and went for directly for the take down of world’s largest tree. Kudos to you, Grad student for subtly taking down in one fail swoop what neither nature or man could previously. While I would have gone the direct chainsaw route, you had vision and knew it would take “field research” to take down the Behemoth.
These failures have truly inspired me to think bigger, to act more globally, to fail to plan more spectacularly. This world is in need of failures, beacons to look to, and I intend on making my mark in this world. Let us raise a glass of Cherry Limeade to all those who will not crash and burn in anonymity, but with let their failures burn as bright as the sun which will someday consume this failure we call Earth.
Bitter Failure Ben