That’s right. Failure. We live in such a fast-paced and driven world, that the idea of failure makes people cringe. It makes people change their mind. And it makes people depressed.
On my flight to London last weekend, I picked up a magazine called Business 2.0, featuring articles about the importance of Web 2.0. Flipping through the magazine I ran across an article that read “A Startup’s Best Friend? Failure.”
Some main points from the article
Failure is the best policy When small things go wrong with the company or business, through failure we can learn what works and what doesn’t. Google’s policy has been to “Launch, listen, improve, launch again.” Many of the features on Google’s website were funneled through many others that didn’t work and failed.
Turn the mistakes into better features In the footsteps of Google, startups like Dogster.com or Like.com have made themselves into better services by understanding the causes of these failures and readjusting anything necessary to become better.
Today’s successful Internet businesses embrace defects as a way to get things right
“Failure is the enemy of efficiency, but it’s the best way to learn.” Robert E Gunther, consultant for Decision Strategies International
“Failures are things where you don’t learn anything.” Douglas Merrill, Google VP of Engineering.
Mistakes are not such a bad thing after all. So when something in your pursuit of your goals doesn’t work, take a step back, analyze what went wrong, and make sure you learn from it.
As Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton Hotels put it:
“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”
On that note, have a great rest of the week everyone!
“Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.” Oscar Wilde
Filed under: advice, credit cards, debt, finance, materialism, responsibility
Materialism & Credit Cards
After reading two different blog entries that shared a single theme, I took some time to think about the idea of materialism.
The United States is a very very materialistic culture. Ever since I arrived in this country I realized that this is a “go big or go home” mentality. Look at the size of the cars driving around. You could probably fit a family of 10 into an Expedition and still have room for the dog. And all you see is one person driving around in this monster of a car. Also, if you can’t afford it, there’s always car payments.
The biggest indicator of this American materialism: the negative savings rate. For the 2nd year in a row, the US Consumer savings rate has been negative. People have been spending more money than they earn. Which sounds like it shouldn’t be happening? I mean, can someone really eat 1.5 loaves of bread when they only have 1? Oh yes they can. You borrow the other half.
Credit cards are deadly. The lack of education in financial management has proven to be a downfall of consumer society. Credit card debt is ridiculously high, to the point that credit card debt elimination companies have been established. People are actually blaming and suing credit card companies for the ridiculous interest they’ve racked up on their own debt. People! Are you serious?
Moral of the story is: learn to keep track and manage your finances. Credit cards can be used and abused. Here’s a few things that I’ve learned;
1. Use credit cards responsibly to develop and mold your credit score/history which will help you acquire loans and mortgages in the future
2. NEVER spend more money than you can pay back within the next payment period. Interest rates rise exponentially, and pretty soon you will be over your head in payments.
3. Don’t spend more money than what you have in the checking/savings account.
4. Stick to one or two credit cards. It will limit the number of annual fees you pay and the number of payments you must keep track of.
5. In some cases, call the credit card company to set your limit at one level. This way, they will not increase it every few months in an attempt to entice you to spend more money.
Here are the articles:
“It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know”
This is a concept that is very important in the life of anybody in the world. We have transformed into a society of people constantly on the move. As Drish has mentioned before “there aren’t enough hours in the day”.
Drake has taken a great step in engraining this concept into the minds of its business students with a course about the basics of business.
Six degrees of separation.
The lines separating graduates from two differently ranked universities have blurred. And all it takes is knowing the right person. One phone call or email puts your foot halfway through the door. The other half is you.
“Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi is a wonderful insight into the skill of building and maintaining strong inter-personal relationships. That’s the consistence of a strong network. It’s your “rolodeck” of people who you would stop at nothing to help, and who would stop at nothing to help you.
One of the things to remember, is that there are people anywhere and everywhere. New connections and networks are created every second. In the airport, at the mall, in a restaurant, the possibilities are endless.
The first step to establishing any kind of connection is finding a common ground or topic as a beginning. The weather is a common beginning, and depending on the situation, the possible topics are infinite. Ask Questions!
After establishing a common topic, it is also critical to introduce oneself, one’s university and major. Also, a strong handshake during the introduction wouldn’t hurt either. I believe this part is critical, because from personal experience, spotlighting one’s position as a college student just opens the possibilities even more. People with experience always seem to want to help college students. If you don’t believe me check out the film “Catch Me If You Can”, where Leo’s character stands in as a high school reporter. People love to share stories of their experiences, and what to do in order to gain your own.
As the conversation draws to a close it is also critical to thank the person for their time and always, and I mean ALWAYS, ask the person whether they have contact information or a business card. And ALWAYS, ALWAYS have a set of business cards with you. Carry around 30 and you’ll never run out. With the exchange of the business cards, part of the relationship is complete. (For business cards: VistaPrint)
The final step in the establishment of a relationship is the follow up. After receiving a person’s business card, be sure to follow up on the event as soon as possible. A quick email thanking the person for their time, referencing something that you talked about is a great idea. It may also be a good idea to propose a meeting in the future, when both of you have some time
My Personal Experience:
Just the other day I was getting the oil in my car changed, and as I sat in the waiting room of the wonderful Jiffy Lube, I couldn’t help but notice a man shake his head at the photo on the front page of the paper. After a recent spell of bad weather, the photo portrayed a towing company digging cars out from the side of the interstate. The man added this was the first time in 25 years he had seen such weather. As he was in his 40’s/50’s, I asked where he moved from and why he moved. I followed up with asking more questions about his experiences, which he was very happy to share with me. As the service on his car finished, I thanked him for the discussion, wished him a safe ride home and exchanged business cards.
Now why is this relevant? Why would I need the information of a person who owns a company that writes consumer vehicle reports for over 150 newspapers? Why would he need to know the information of a college student who likes traveling and photography?
What do you think?
Welcome to my life and thoughts, the window to my mind. I was inspired to start by two things. Firstly, I already own a rather raw photoblog at (you’ve been warned). Secondly, an intelligent individual I met on my fourth day in the United States: Andy Drish.
I am a college student at Drake University. My majors are Marketing and Creative Advertising, but I love to dibble and dabble in many different things. I am very politically charged and outspoken, but I will try to keep my ramblings, rants and political views to a minimum. I will also try to keep any views relative to politics as objective as possible. At the end of the day, it’s not about whether someone’s a part of one political party or another, it’s about what the party in power does for the country.
I am a Polish citizen, but I was born and raised in Indonesia. My combined passions are traveling and photography, which complement each other relatively well. Visit http://www.bulephoto.com for some of my works from my various travels.