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09.10.2015How to FuckUp and how to deal: FuckUp Nights - 1st edition Mannheim
I used to be an avid visitor of various conferences and geek get-togethers. For a while I even helped organize them, helped bring Webmonday to Mannheim and helped launch TEDx in Rhein-Main. However a while back I stopped my participation as well as visits because I wasn't getting anything inspirational out of them. My motivation to help make these events happen was to enhance communication within the community of people creating digital media.
However instead of interesting insights and learnings from various fields within the tech world the talks often seemed more like polished showcases of passed work presented by the company's sales rep. It simply got boring because no one was willing to share the nitty-gritty. But then a former co-working colleague of mine invited me to attend the 1st edition of the Mannheim FuckUp Nights, which was promising to be: Liberating! Fun! Authentic! And I must say... it truly was!
Define FuckUp please!
I was able to stay for two speakers and both had very different stories to tell. Businessman Benny B. Weiler told an astonishing story of serval FuckUps due to being there too early and trusting the wrong people, which resulted in the loss of millions of D-Marks and later Euros. Hartmut Wöhlbier spoke of 12 years of hard work, which left him with two success stories and seemingly uncountable failed projects. While most people would identify loosing a lot of money on a business venture as a FuckUp I had problems seeing the FuckUp in failed projects that seemed to have no financial or health related consequences. But this only means that the definition of FuckUps can be quite personal, which is why I am really looking forward to the next FuckUp night. I find the subject fascinating, refreshing and surprisingly versatile.
FuckUps are poetry
For the audience stories of failure and disappointments are an amazing way to learn about what can go wrong, what should be avoided at all costs or what might just happen if you are a visionary person who stubbornly wants to make things happen in a world that is not be ready for your plans. This is what both speakers seemed to have in common: an imperturbable belief in their plans and ideas, which they executed with unwavering motivation no matter what happened. Both seemed to have had a "fuck-it" mentality towards their FuckUps, getting right back up after their fall to take on their next venture after shortly adjusting their crown. Why? From what I understood: because they had to. Both speakers described themselves with words such as "makers" or "driven" and failure might just be inevitable for the driven. Like sledding down a snow slope in a pace that you can't or don't want to control because it's way to much fun. You might crash or you might bot but no matter the outcome (this time): WEEEEEEEEEEEEE! And even if you crash, there will be that glorious day on which you master the stop and that day can only come if you get back on top of that hill to start all over. Or as Yoda put it:If the internet is correct than Stephen McCranie and not Yoda said this. I prefer the Yoda version though. What is left to say is: