How to Change the World (After 15 Years of Failure)

I told people many times that I’ve been a failure for 15 years. In 1992 I tried to start an international newsletter about dance music, and I failed. In 1994 I tried to launch a game development company, and I failed. I spent 3 years writing bookkeeping software, but I sold it to only a few customers. In 1997 I started a software company (with a friend), which was successful for a while. But eventually, together with the parent company, it collapsed. Just like the dozen or so relationships I had in that decade.

The first signs of change arrived in 1999, when I started an Internet startup that produced games charts. My idea was so impressive that I won a national award for it. Unfortunately, my team and I couldn’t find any customers. It collapsed as well. And I will spare you the many failures between 2000 and 2008, which included a book, a cartoon, a blog, another book, and several original but doomed software projects. Everything always failed.

Do you see the pattern? I certainly did.

Did I give up? Of course not.

After 2008, for some inexplicable reasons, things have changed. My blog is a success. My book is a success. My course seems to be a success. And my relationship fared well enough that I decided to get married. And now the ALE network is doing fine as well.

Last week someone asked me, “What has changed?”

Indeed, I’ve been wondering about that too…

Did some gods take pity on me? Have I already exhausted my lifetime supply of failure? Is fate playing some cruel tricks on me?

I have no idea.

The only thing I can say is, I now spend much more time learning how to be better. And it seems to be paying off…

But whatever the reasons, after so many failed attempts at making ideas work, I picked up a thing or two about being a somewhat successful but certainly very persistent change agent. I added my suggestions to this new presentation. I hope it helps you to have fewer failures than I had.

p.s. I’ve been told that I’m arrogant. And I leave it to others to decide if that’s true. But from my own perspective I just feel more confident about what I can do, and how to do it. Given my extensive track record of learning experiences, I think that’s not a bad thing. 🙂

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