Sunday, December 20, 2015


I think, anxiety from “fear of failure” must be embedded in our DNA like every other animal species.

Little has changed since our ancestors walked across the savannah under scourging heat, searching for food and threatened by wild animals.

Today everything from our education systems to business systems leverage the same anxiety.

At school we are constantly exposed to tests utilising our primordial fear. Success is cherished, failure is demonised. Obedient individuals are programmed to contribute to the overall success of the larger group they belong to.

It is only until recently with the rise of startup culture, failure was made welcoming and become important part of development process; the idea is to learn from mistakes in organised fashion. Alas this is an illusion.

At the end of several fail-improve cycles, the business may come to an abrupt end when it runs out of fuel. Some say 90% of tech start-ups doom to fail.

In other words, it is important to differentiate failure as a useful business process, as opposed to failure as business, the latter is unfortunately akin to returning empty handed from hunting.

So where does this leave us at?

As we get older we begin to realise other important facts of life; time is getting scarcer, we are not getting any healthier, and our hormones (including the ones that drive anxiety) get weaker.

With anti-anxiety, anti-cholesterol, and anti-high blood pressure pills on the table, suddenly it may occur to us “what the hell have I been doing to myself all this time? Fuck success!”, and this is, dear friends, my definition of “maturity”.

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