Posted by: Marshall Sponder | April 19, 2008

Failure = Success

I saw this video on YouTube that was forwarded to me by someone in my Facebook Social Network of Famous Failures – and that I have been driven by failures and getting older, to do much of what I’ve undertaken in the last few years. Here’s the video and then I’ll tie it in with my life and Web Analytics:

First of all, two interviews of me last year Interview with Marshall Sponder – Part I and Interview with Marshall Sponder – Part II pretty much explain how, after 9/11, with almost no money and a family to feed, I morphed into what I’m doing now – Web Analytics – and resurrected my Artwork but I am often tempted to see failure in things I undertake, while forgetting that in order to really succeed, you must fail first – and often – to know true success.

How would that apply in Web Analytics? I think it is probably more related to “measurement” and succeeding in getting to the right metrics and finding ways to measure – often we fail, fail to either get buy in, get the right tools, get the right hooks in to code, get the right message and analysis out there, find the right stakeholders for it, or just work in the wrong place for the wrong people.

It’s important to know that with repeated failure, success is often forged. I think that’s what this online video clip is about. It’s the people who were told, even by those who loved them, that they can’t be anything, they can’t succeed.

I often think about the messages I put forward to my own son – as he’s growing up – that might be telling him one thing or another – or what society says, because everyone has problems – life is full of them.

The problem is we’re more than the sum of our problems but often the impetus to define what we are comes from failures, and then, the definition of what we can be comes from us – from what we do.

I was speaking with a friend last week, a social worker, who often meets with people who have vision problems, that’s part of the job, and often they project a lot of stuff onto her; she mentioned that you often need to know what’s yours and what’s not – to own what’s yours.

A lot of time, people project what they are working on or what they have a problem with, onto whomever is around – if your a sponge and take it in, it can be part of you – but it doesn’t need to be. When t here’s failure, it doesn’t mean you failed, or your a failure (and I say that to myself all the time) it means that you have to try again, or try in a different way.


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