La Voz de Galicia – November 26, 2021 →

Cristina PatoI suppose that it is because I have spent some time thinking about what failure means in today’s society, and in the ways this definition has changed over the last few years. In the era of the viral WhatsApps, of «likes» and «tweets,» there are instant failures from which not everyone can recover. But failing is a learning process which we all go through at some moment of our lives, and precisely because it is a process, it should not be instantaneous; there are many factors that lead one to failure, whether personal, academic, or professional.

Even so, when I think about the different ways we have of understanding failure, I think about the fact that I’ve always been fascinated by the difference that existed in the way that failure was understood in the United States and the way it was understood in Galicia. And I am speaking in the past tense because over these last few years things have changed a lot. Before the era of hyperconnection, sudden failure was not as present, and perhaps this was the reason one could have the opportunity to learn from it. But today that seems impossible because failure is also public…

The case is that this week I was excited to hear the news about the Museum of Failure, an initiative of the psychologist and researcher Samuel West, who got together a collection of products and services that were failures (the DeLorean, Google Glass, a sweeter version of Coca Cola…), with the purpose of «stimulating a productive debate about failure and inspiring others to assume risks» based on the idea that «innovation and progress require an acceptance of failure.» And I hold on to that idea–let’s accept failure to be able to learn, not just from our own experience, but from others’ as well.

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