Indeed, FAILURE is the only option for me too!

In: Education|Entrepreneurship

By Bakshi Gulam

15 Nov 2012

Wait! Don’t conclude me as an pessimist! And I’m not talking in frustration too!! But sometimes we feel

“Why this is happening to me alone? Is failure the only option for me? Should I continue? or Should I drop this at this point?”

Even I did feel the same few months back. I did experience a series of failures.

Usually we fail when we try to do something. Especially when we try to do something extra – something others don’t do usually – something others feel unnecessary. And when it comes to Entrepreneurship, I think, failure is inevitable.  I too started experiencing failure from my first entrepreneurial experiment. Let me narrate a few here…

Failure I:

My first experiment started when I had just completed my schoolings. It was making a software and selling it! (Because the only successful icon I knew at that time was Bill Gates and all I knew about him was “he become millionaire just by selling software”.) It was a Test Engine which can be used to conduct objective type tests using computers. And I already had one written (during my Class 11 & 12) in Visual Basic (the only programming language I knew at that time). So I thought of compiling a database of questions and answers for Class-12 students. But then I realized, the software was not compatible across platforms. Even for the Windows (the platform in which it was developed), I didn’t know how to make a distributable package for it. These imposed fatal barriers and I dropped the idea and started looking for ways to create a cross-platform application.

Failure II:

Then after some analysis, I felt Web Application can solve this compatibility issue (which Desktop Apps faced). Then I started learning Web Technology. I couldn’t afford to wait till I learn all the technologies related to web. So I started charting my next plan! It was a website (of some tutorials) with Pay-Per-Click monetization strategy. Since I didn’t even know HTML at that time, I created it with WYSIWYG editor. Since the editor was Microsoft’s, again it was IE dependent! The next devastating observation!!

But this time I was not ready to give up easily. I learnt the necessary to make it cross-browser compatible and I did it. For hosting the website I approached a local hosting provider and hosted the site with them. After few months they went out of business and the server became down. Again it was a failure!

Failure III:

After my graduation, I thought of starting a Technical Training Institute which focuses on imparting practical skills in the domain of Open Source Technologies. The constrain was I could not afford to have such infrastructure when starting up. So I thought of partnering with someone who already have the infrastructure in place. I talked to Colleges, Training Institutes with various partnering ideas. But all went in vain. Again a failure!

After such series of failures, I too was thinking “Is failure my only option?” At that time, fortunately, I got a chance to read DJ Patil’s commencement address at the University of Maryland, May 2012. It was very different. Because it seemed that he was trying to convince the grads by saying “Failure is your only option”. I too first wondered “What? Is failure our only option?” The next line was just amazing and it goes like “But… Fail Fast” and it continues like

“Don’t fail slow. Failing slow is painful for you and painful for your loved ones. It’s like watching your best friend being in a relationship that is clearly doomed, but they just won’t listen.”

What a new dimension DJ Patil has added on how to consider/treat failure! And now I’m happy that I’ve failed fast!!

Comment Form


Welcome Web-Surfers!

This is Bakshi Gulam. I’m a programmer, a blogger and an open-source lover interested in anything related to computer systems. Click here to read my bio.


November 2012
« May   Mar »