Failure Is More Interesting Than Success

Failure is Often More Fun, Too.

I watched American Idol a long time ago, but I wasn’t looking for, or even rooting for, the winners. In fact, once the show had gotten past the huge masses of people who tried out for it and moved to Hollywood to pare the singers down even further, I often stopped watching. If you ask me, the most interesting acts are the ones we don’t see or barely see. We see some of those acts if the producers happen to come across someone who can be laughed at (remember William Hung). We see little snippets of terrible singers, or outrageous acts, etc. What about all those people we don’t see? I guess that there are a ton of gold in them thar’ hills. Some of that failure was really interesting.

Take Kickstarter, for example. They only seem to highlight the successes. But I’ve dug through the bowels of it (and yes, both Kickstarter and Indiegogo have bowels) and found a ton of interesting stuff. Stuff that you know is good but likely won’t fund because the perceived market is too small or that the potential funders think that they will never meet their goals. I saw some really cool stuff. This is all long tail stuff, which would likely appeal to some small portion of the market, just not enough for Kickstarter. One wonders: if the future is in the long tail stuff, how can the long tail stuff ever be realized without someone funding it? In the end, Kickstarter, even though it’s supposed to help fund the long tail, they still create strata by focusing on the successes as opposed to focusing on interesting, unfunded projects. The failures.

I hope that other people out there are just like me – mining the bowels (I have to come up with a better word for that) of these sites looking for gold. Maybe if we see something interesting, if the project doesn’t look like it’s going to be funded, we contact the submitter and maybe invest directly. After all, don’t you find that even though the top stuff IS cool, maybe some of the bottom stuff is even cooler?

Failure does often lead to success.


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