Who doesn’t love something that promises to provide you with whatever you want in only three easy steps, right? After all, three seems to be the biggest number of things that most of us can hold in our over-taxed minds between remembering which kid needs to go to the dentist and where, exactly, we have left the family dog. What those steps are, of course, depends on what it is that you want (quickly) at the end and while there are numerous guides out there for thin thighs, landing a mate, and getting that big promotion, there has been a gaping chasm in the literature regarding failure coaching.
In sweeps Bartosz Bos, the veritable anti-Iacoca of successful failure…on the quick. If you’ve been watching 3D print startups fail, but aren’t sure what the key decisions were that could guarantee such disastrous underperformance, Bos has taken years of study and condensed the lessons of multiple 3D print businesses into a surefire elixir of doom, shared via Aniwaa. So strap in because we’re about to launch into a downward spiral of terror and despair.
The key to any abysmal drop to the bottom is to start out aiming for the impossible. I know we’ve all been told that we can do anything if we put our minds to it, but given the number of us who started out dreaming of being astronauts, beauty queens, and the dictators of small island nations, it should be clear that this is not the case. It’s a lesson that is essential to forget if you really want to hit rock bottom. Luckily, step one is designed for the faint of heart and rather than hard work, requires only the minimal effort of making lazy assumptions. As Bos explains:
“Start with a premise that sounds good to the unitiated. Aterm or phrase brimming with common sense, but based completely on anecdotal evidence or personal opinion and having absolutely no basis in reality. ‘Sex Sells’ comes to mind. It’s broad enough for a large number of people to instinctively agree with it whether it has merit or not.”
Heck if you really want to get a jump start you could just lift this idea right from Bos. Of course, if you really want to get a jump start, you’re already going about this failure thing all wrong, so cut it out. Next, figure out a vague connection between a concept and an imagined market need? Excellent, you are ready for step two…present the idea in a big way and brush aside all critical feedback. The only thing that matters is that you can sell your idea with impassioned speaking, beautiful graphics, and the firm belief that if you are crazy enough people will think you are sane again. Fireworks might not be a bad idea.
“People like a bit of craziness…so a surprising amount of them will gravitate towards your now fledgeling (sic) startup, but rest assured, this is only temporary as all but one will kindly retract their offers to join your team after about an hour of thinking about what they’re getting into…What matters is the thunderous applause after your asskicking pitch (with sweet graphics) and the way you cleverly dress down the judges after they dare question the validity of your concept,” Bos explains.
Now, just imagine, you are 2/3 of the way toward reaping the benefits of your lifeless idea. In fact, if you find you don’t have the stomach for this type of fast-lane, living-on-the-edge failure lifestyle, you could just get off the ride now. But if you’re really in it to travel to blues territory, the final ingredient in this craptacular concoction is the type of stick-to-itiveness that was, ironically now, absent in your initial business planning. Don’t give up until you’ve lost every cent, spent all of your social capital, and find yourself offering special favors in alleyways to anybody who’ll take your business card and promise to call.
Now the only thing standing between you and professional, full time, world class failure is an ability to learn nothing from your mistakes. Don’t worry, keep your chin up, and always remember: I don’t believe in you. Discuss your failures over in the 3D Printing I Failed forum on 3DPB.com.