Jibran’s Perspective

I have not failed enough

Dec 31, 2023

I was recently listening through the How to succeed at failing series on the Freakonomics podcast and started to think about how often I had failed in the past few years. The first answer was - not too much. I couldn’t think of too many instances of where I had “failed”.

This was not a good thing. It was very much a sad thing that I couldn’t quickly think of many things I had failed at.

Why is not failing bad?

I realized I didn’t fail a lot because - I didn’t try a lot. I didn’t fail because I didn’t have good goals.

Sure, I have a folder full of projects I thought of, researched, some that I even started working on; that I gave up on pretty soon after starting. But those don’t count as failures right? I was just playing around, not really aiming for anything. It was just a fun side project.

That’s why I didn’t fail a lot, and that’s also why it’s not a good thing.

I need to fail more

Which means that I need to set goals and work towards them. Without goals to aim for, I keep spending my time in the same unproductive loop.

  1. Think of a shiny new project.
  2. Play around a bit, maybe learn a few things.
  3. Give up when things get hard or boring.
  4. Repeat

While I do learn some things, I don’t really learn new things. Picking up another web backend framework when I’m very good at 1 already (Django if you’re looking to get something built 🙂) is very small incremental progress.

I should be learning about running a business, marketing, sales, how to talk to people, cold calling, etc. Instead I’m playing around with NextJS/Remix because it’s easier to do and there’s very little chance of me failing at it.

What I’m planning to do

This approach of timeboxing projects and having an achievable goal is also discussed by Zack Freedman in this video Here’s what’s preventing you from finishing projects. See it when you get the chance.

This wasn’t supposed to be a new years resolution

I started thinking about this over 2 months ago and have been planning to write a post on it. Today seemed like a good day for it. So I guess this is my new year’s resolution. Fail more, fail better.