fail harder…

failharder-591x393
W+K
Mantra, created with 150,000 pushpins.
W+K = Wieden+Kennedy, an advertising agency, for all those not in the know.

The mantra is based on one of, founder, Dan Wieden’s sayings, “You’re only good to me after you’ve made three tremendous mistakes.” So, yeah: Fail Harder.

Wieden noted: through failure and mistakes, a kind of chaos and confusion grows. Most people try to get away from the confusion or deny it. Instead, return to the confusion and be at home in the chaos. By doing this you will start to see different patterns starting to emerge, through seeing these different patterns you will also think in different patterns and thus evolve the creative process in yourself.  So dont get discouraged next time your work is not chosen, or you find you have misread your clients wishes, Failure is a part of doing and creating, and you should not be punished for it, nor should you torture yourself over it! But rather understand that you are one step closer to coming up with something truly creative and great!

I saw this pin piece in the movie Art & Copy. They talked about it and how even in the execution it’s a failure and a triumph. You could have created the type in pins instead of a knock-out effect, but they didn’t. Instead they used 150,000 pins and reportedly spent 351 hours. Time/resource fail. Execution success. Let’s award a point to concept; you win again… you always win.

So, W+K, thank you; Not only for some cool eye-candy, but for a little life lesson. Because, this lesson is as a good a life lesson as it is a design lesson. (Case and point: San Francisco. Pretty big fail. But you know what, I’m better for it.)

I’ve decided I’m going to fail big at something else this year, and see where it takes me. Just one more ’til I hit that mythical third fail. How am I going to do this? Not sure yet, but I’ve got three months left to figure it out. Who’s with me?

fail

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