Failures

Was reading a The New Paper article yesterday talking about how a group of NUS students has to do a project that involves helping others. Like how they started by finding prostitutes willing to be “saved” but could find any and eventually found a foreign student that was cheated by a “university” here that took him in. They tried to raise funds for him to help him return home but was no where close to being able to send him back. And they feared that they would fail the project when they compared themselves to other groups that were doing projects like “helping guys propose to their girlfriends” and “helping someone learn Hokkien”.

Reading this I found myself thinking, Have I either numbed myself to failing or are they just not able to see beyond the project. I feel that they just trying to help someone that is really in need of help is more worthwhile than a project that “helps to propose to someone else”. Even if they fail to help the person get back home, at least they helped. And I really hope that they get the best grade among all the teams.

Sometimes I feel that people can’t see beyond the failure of a project to see what has actually been done and what can be learn from it. A failure is a failure and nothing can be learn from it. The fear of failing stops people from stepping out to do things to make a difference, to be creative, to be just different. Cause if you fail, they would just keep repeating that to you.

Something that I learn from my BSM to Israel and really liked about that place is that no one is going to repeat about your failure, no one is going to tell you that giving up that high paying job in Intel or Oracle and starting your own company is a dumb thing to do. They would support you and tell you that you can make it. May be we should just be able to see beyond the result of passing or failing and be able to see what we actually learned or are doing to help others. Maybe that is why we are not as creative or as innovative as them.

Well, I guess it’s a culture issue. We are too results focus that we can’t see beyond it.

Looking at the field of IT, learning what I have learnt, I know that most (and it’s really a lot) of project fail. It is a fact of life in the industry that project do fail, they either don’t meet the deadline, overrun the budget, etc. For every software project that finished, there would be 9 that failed. Maybe that is why I don’t see failure as failing anymore, it’s more about what I can learn from this so that next time, this wouldn’t happen again.

In the end, I just hope that we can look beyond that results and learn from every experience and every failure that we get.