I am spiritual and morbid, the concept of death has helped me advance spiritually. At the entrepreneurial level too I’m fascinated with failures. In this context, Tara Hunt who has magical cures for (Marketing) virus is proposing a LoserCamp in the anecdotal BarCamp structure. I like the way it is named( no attempt to dress up, show of sincerity/humility), and Tara has more on it:
I should add why I think it is very important to call this LoserCamp and keep it in the failure space:
#1. We all stumble and fall, but we often think we are alone in doing so. De-stigmatizing ‘failure’ or the negative outcomes makes it much easier for people to talk about it and connect on that level. Remember my post, ‘Forgiving Your Inner Gollum’? I received over 15 personal emails thanking me for being so honest and letting others know they weren’t alone.
#2. We aren’t just celebrating learning from failure, we are celebrating the act of not being afraid of it. It’s a bit defiant to reclaim the negative word. I like that.
It’s very much about embracing the chaos. I don’t want to paint a pretty picture of it. It’s tough. It sucks. And there are costs. But the rewards are high, too. 🙂
It will be interesting to see success stories emerging( we started at DemoCamp, then ended up in LoserCamp and a few CaseCamp latter we fliped it to Google and here we are at LoserCampV3… 🙂 )
This is a very positive development in the ‘Living life aloud’ culture as indeed failures are the secrets we hide and build walls around ourselves. LoserCamps will help shatter these walls and unite people for a better world.
Blue Screen of Death Jawad Farid IT pioneer at Pakistan.
What is the relevance to entrepreneurship? You may ask. One word – Reboot. The concept that you can flex three fingers (or one, as I have done at times) at a specific instance of your life and restart with what is left and salvageable a few seconds (or years) later. Just like the initial version of Windows, for first time entrepreneurs, blue screens are expected. With every iteration they become rarer. Till you get to a stage where you are endowed with the “touch”. You become the entrepreneurial Sufi – turning every thing you bless, with your presence, into gold.
I was hitchhiking from Paris back to Mysore, India, my home town.
By the time a kind driver dropped me at Nis railway station at 9 p.m. on a Saturday night, the restaurant was closed. So was the bank the next morning, and I could not eat because I had no local money. I slept on the railway platform until 8.30 pm in the night when the Sofia Express pulled in.
The only passengers in my compartment were a girl and a boy. I struck a conversation in French with the young girl. She talked about the travails of living in an iron curtain country, until we were roughly interrupted by some policemen who, I later gathered, were summoned by the young man who thought we were criticising the communist government of Bulgaria.
The girl was led away; my backpack and sleeping bag were confiscated. I was dragged along the platform into a small 8×8 foot room with a cold stone floor and a hole in one corner by way of toilet facilities. I was held in that bitterly cold room without food or water for over 72 hours.
I had lost all hope of ever seeing the outside world again, when the door opened. I was again dragged out unceremoniously, locked up in the guard’s compartment on a departing freight train and told that I would be released 20 hours later upon reaching Istanbul. The guard’s final words still ring in my ears — “You are from a friendly country called India and that is why we are letting you go!”
The journey to Istanbul was lonely, and I was starving. This long, lonely, cold journey forced me to deeply rethink my convictions about Communism. Early on a dark Thursday morning, after being hungry for 108 hours, I was purged of any last vestiges of affinity for the Left.
I concluded that entrepreneurship, resulting in large-scale job creation, was the only viable mechanism for eradicating poverty in societies.
Deep in my heart, I always thank the Bulgarian guards for transforming me from a confused Leftist into a determined, compassionate capitalist! Inevitably, this sequence of events led to the eventual founding of Infosys in 1981.