We’ve all heard people say that failure is not an option.

We once had a client come to us with a delicate deadline. They had a person working in-house for a project for over a year, and that person had recently left the office. They came in mid November and needed us to complete the project by January 1st.

No negotiation or delays. Hard deadline for January 1st.

We worked nonstop day and night to meet the deadline. Once we were done with part of the project, we needed feedback and information from our client in order to complete the project. They didn’t provide us with what we needed and, hence, the project did not get done by January 1st.

Guess what happened? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

At my previous job I was the CTO of a fast-growing startup that underinvested in their tech, so every-so-often everything would shut down. This happened way more often than it should have. So we brought in a new CTO, but the same thing kept happening… So eventually he got fired.

We then decided to hire another guy, and management told him that it was unacceptable to have our system go down, and that it absolutely could not happen again. The new person told us that it was going to happen again, regardless of what he did. But he also said that he would prepare for it and therefore it wouldn’t be as disastrous when the system did go down.

Projects not turning out exactly how we plan them is always a possibility, and rather than denying it, being honest with yourself and coming up with a plan B is the best option. Work hard and determinedly, but stay truthful.

Failure is always an option. Understanding the possibilities and side effects of failure makes you more likely to be successful, not less.  


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