A note on what we’re not

With Fuckup Nights happening in over 300 cities around the world, the event can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Everyone has their own reason for attending, or speaking at an event, and that means Fuckup Nights can potentially represent something completely unique to each person.

And while we’ll be the first people to let you know what we’re all about – whether through our local chapters around the world, our private events or event through our newsletter, we’ve never really talked about what we’re not.

We’ve always strived to be transparent in what we do, and we’d like that to continue into who we are. So, to clear the air, we decided that we want to talk about a few of the things that we’re not about:

We don’t only tell stories about startups

People tend to think we only focus on startups and entrepreneurs, but that’s not the case. At Fuckup Nights, any kind of business or professional failure is welcome – from artists to football players, to bankers and restaurant owners.

We’ve had amazing speakers from across various industries and backgrounds speak – and that’s what makes Fuckup Nights great.

We’re not failure gurus.

We’ve built a great movement, we’ve gotten a lot of great press, but we’re not the failure gurus. Failure (and the circumstances around it) can be an incredibly personal and a niche thing. There isn’t one blanket solution – silver bullets for these kinds of situations just don’t exist.

However, we’re constantly learning from all the great stories we get the chance to document, and those insightful red lights we identify at the companies where we hold private events. All to break the paradigms that hold us back.

We don’t believe that “failure” is the only path to “success

You don’t need to “fail” to be “successful”. So we’re not telling you to fail or you’ll never be successful. Some people will reach success without fucking up at all. Like we’ve said before, there are just so many variables to a person’s life and personality, that there just isn’t one path.

“Anyone can do anything, it just takes some people more work than others.”
– Jason Connell’s Mom

And even before deciding which thing leads to the other, we believe that the concepts of failure and success can be different depending on each individual; their expectations, their culture, the society they live in, or even past experiences.

Have you ever wondered what success and failure means for the person beside you?

There are different levels of meaningfulness

There will be times you’ll learn EVERYTHING after a fuck up, but there’ll be times you won’t learn that much. Sometimes you fail for no reason at all, and sometimes without anything you could have done differently.

A student failing a test can get a lesson as meaningful as an entrepreneur failing a startup, as we’ve said, it’s all about context. Most of the time, meaningful lessons come after some time has passed, and after taking a moment to reflect.

We don’t celebrate the failure, we celebrate the resilience.

This is probably the most important one. Sometimes what we do gets misconstrued, and people think that we’re celebrating the failure itself, or even worse, we worship it. If you’re in this camp, then we’re about to blow your mind:

We don’t worship failure, and we don’t want you to fail.

What we’re doing when we do Fuckup Nights is trying to understand the failure, to see what we can learn from it, and ultimately, celebrate the resilience of the people who have failed and lived to tell the tale.

Phew, that’s a huge weight off our chests. 

Now that you know what we are, and what we’re not, why not listen to some failure stories at your nearest fuckup nights event, or, encourage your boss/team members to share theirs at your company.