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M&Ms #35: Failure

Louie Bacaj
Louie Bacaj
3 min read

Hey Team,

We learn almost nothing from failure.

I was inspired to write a Tweet thread earlier in the week about my crypto side project, Dealbit, that failed. I wrote the thread because I've been thinking a lot about how little we learn from failure.

For the record, this is a recent realization for me and a complete shift in mindset

I didn't always feel this way; I used to think we could learn a lot from our failures.

I used to believe that retrospectives can tell us a lot, but now I know I was wrong about that.

So how did I suddenly make this shift to stop trying to parse my failures for nuggets of wisdom?

The world is full of random events, and market conditions change in a heartbeat.

Trying to understand why you failed in those conditions is very likely to lead you to be fooled by randomness and miss-attribute your failure to the wrong thing.

Attributing to the wrong thing is riskier than not attributing at all.

It can lead you to believe things that aren't true and then take action on them. In my case, with my failed crypto side project, things like avoiding an entire market.

The fundamental issue is that the world works like the above diagram. 90% failure rate is very normal in our modern world.

People that start businesses and VC investors have known this for a long time. But regular people like you and me who write essays, tweet, and create things are starting to figure this out.

Maybe this is not what you wanted to hear.

It's normal and human to try and get some Winnings from a Loss, but the harsh truth is that might be a risky move.

The better thing to do with failure is to use it as fuel. Like one of my favorite rappers, Kendrick Lamar, says:

You take a loss? Shit, don't cry about it, just embrace it
Minor setback for major comeback, that's my favorite

A few Tweets from this week:

Aprilynne quit her job in banking to try and become a creator. This tweet thread is a good inside look at her journey with lot's of insights for the rest of us.

You can see that she created a few videos until a seemingly random video about a topic she was only just learning about took off. The creator economy teaches you to stop trying to predict and instead focus on doing and being prolific.


It has been an insane year for software engineers in the US, demand is through the roof, salaries are sky high, but what's also very interesting is that the numbers hold up all over the globe. The Tweet by Gergely is summarizing data in the Ukraine market.


Some Memes from this week:

People say things like, you just need 500 customers to pay you 1k a year and you will make 500k. Thanks genius.


log4j, one of the most popular logging frameworks on the most popular stack on the open internet and it had a really bad vulnerability. Likely exposing the majority of the services we use to hacking.

This meme is timely but also hurts a little.


P.S. Most of you that subscribe to this newsletter I know in real life. But even if I don't know you in real life, replying directly to this email is encouraged.

We are all busy so no worries if you don't want to reply and just say "hi." But if it helps you at all, think of it as a text and in a text saying just "hi" is good enough.

You can also email me to ask for something, I am always happy to help if I can.

Have a great weekend,

Louie

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