ENTRIES TAGGED "failure"

Building for Failure Is a Recipe for Success

How you handle failure can mean the difference between "just another incident" and a revenue-stealing accident.

I was ready to get home. I’d been dozing throughout the flight from JFK to SFO, listening to the background chatter of Channel 9 as a lullaby. Somewhere over Sacramento, the rhythmic flow of controller-issued clearances and pilot confirmations was broken up by a call from our plane:

“NorCal Approach, United three-eighty-nine.”
“United three-eighty-nine, NorCal, go.”
“NorCal, United three-eighty-nine, we’d like to go ahead and…”

My headphones went silent, Channel 9 shut off.

I didn’t think too much of it as we continued our descent, flight attendants walking calmly through the cabin, getting us ready for landing. I had noticed our arrival path was one I was unfamiliar with, but nothing else seemed out of the ordinary… until we turned onto the final approach. In the turn, I noticed the unmistakable glint of firetrucks’ rotating red lights, lined up alongside the runway.

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Head Games: Ego and Entrepreneurial Failure

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” —Samuel Beckett

Entrepreneurial success hinges in large part on a founder’s mastery of psychology. This requires the ability to manage one’s responses to what Ben Horowitz calls “The Struggle,” that is, the emotional roller coaster of startup life. Paul DeJoe captures the ups and downs of being a startup CEO in a post reprinted in a book that I edited, Managing Startups: Best Blog Posts.

It’s all in a founder’s head: the drive to build something great; the resilience to dust yourself off when you repeatedly get knocked down; the passion powering a Reality Distortion Field that mesmerizes potential teammates, investors, and partners. But inside a founder’s head may also be delusional arrogance; an overly impulsive “ready-fire-aim” bias for action; a preoccupation with control; fear of failure; and self-doubt fueling the impostor syndrome. That’s why VC-turned-founder-coach Jerry Colonna named his blog The Monster in Your Head. In a recent interview with Jason Calacanis, Colonna does a nice job of summarizing some of the psychological challenges confronting entrepreneurs. So does a classic article by the psychoanalyst Manfred Kets de Vries: “The Dark Side of Entrepreneurship.”
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Faster and stronger: Looking back on Velocity 2012

Faster and stronger: Looking back on Velocity 2012

Abstraction problems, resilience engineering and outliers among Velocity's big themes.

Mike Loukides highlights talks from Velocity 2012, including: Bryan McQuade on the importance of understanding the full stack, Dr. Richard Cook on failures and complex systems, Mike Christian on redundant data centers, and John Rauser on the value of outliers.

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Design your website for a graceful fail

Design your website for a graceful fail

Mike Brittain on the resilient user experience.

A failure in secondary content doesn't need to take down an entire website. Here, Etsy's Mike Brittain explains how to build resilience into UIs and allow for graceful failures.

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Velocity 2011 retrospective

Velocity 2011 retrospective

Resilience engineering and data's role in performance are key trends in web ops.

A number of emerging themes are defining the web operations world, including: resilience engineering, new approaches to failure, and the role data plays in boosting performance.

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Failure Happens: A summary of the power outage at 365 Main

Datacenter provider 365 Main released their initial report from Tuesday's power failure which affected Craigslist, Technorati, Yelp, TypePad, LiveJournal, Vox, and others. This outage is an excellent example of complex systems failure, and so I'll be using it as the basis for my next few posts on Operations. This is my own analysis using publicly available data. The 365main site…

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