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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mission To Fail......To Enable Success

DARPA stands for Defense Advance Research Projects Agency and they are a company that stands behind innovations that have a high probability to fail.  In order to succeed, they get others to try, try again until they get it right.  The have the license to fail.  I want that license.  You know....feel good about your failures and not beat yourself up....o.k. maybe not feel good.....but better than a car just beaten with a bat by a road raged passenger.

As Michael Belfiore tells it, DARPA was America's first space agency.  It was a response team to compete with the announcement of the 1957 Sputnik.  It has developed into a company with little bureaucracy or even labs for that matter.  They come up with ideas and dish them out to universities and companies willing to make an effort to make them work, but all the while giving them a license to fail.  Now that sounds like a place I want to work for. Maybe they should rename the company Dream Works....oh yeah, someone already used that name.....and I hear the people there are amazing to work with. 

Think about it.....Dream about it......Build it and try to make it work.  Michael's article makes DARPA seem like a great invention factory that if I were a kid....I would love to do that when I grew up.  My kids and I had a great conversation on the way to the mall yesterday.  What do you really love to do? (that was my question)  I tried to impress upon their vast minds that they need to find something that they love doing....something that makes them happy and make sure they figure it out so when it's time for college....they know what they want to do.  I told them their job (and mine) is to figure out what they have a passion for and to really think about ANYTHING in the world they would want to do....not paying attention to if they think it would be hard or not.....just fun and interesting.....something that not only makes them happy, but advances our world.  We talked about Masters degree's and Phd's and how you get to be called Dr. Borland if you get a Phd.  Courtney doesn't want a Phd.....she doesn't want to be a doctor......just a pet doctor......animals make her happy. She's only 6, but her brother added....."of course you want a Phd Courtney....with a Phd you would be one of the smartest people in the world." (he is 9 and making those brain wheels start to turn).  Some days those car ride conversations just work (don't forget about that license to fail....because lots of days there is just bickering)

In reality, we all can give ourselves a license to fail.  I mean it is as easy as'll get 'em next time or you can figure it out tomorrow or the next day or the next day or the next....but the important part is failure is an option because without it....we set ourselves up for disaster.....emotional disaster......which can wreck havoc on any human life.  So today....set sail for an that you aren't quit sure if it will succeed....who knows.....maybe you will surprise yourself (and if you don't....because sometimes you won't.....just pick yourself up and move forward because you never know....Oh The Places You Will Go.)  If you read this.....please feel obligated to leave a comment about the adventure  you plan on trying to make succeed, even if you are thinking about it and don't know yet....I need feedback.

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