Failure

Created by Peter Johnston, Founder at Polywork
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What everyone's up to

Failed at a startup
Joined and failed fast with a small startup team to create Real-Time GPS Tracking Platform as a SaaS
Got a research paper rejected
Got a rejection letter on my latest research paper on ML and Spatial Econometrics one day after submitting to a journal.
Failed at a startup
We onboarded 150+ students and 3 instructors from Google, Amazon, and Flock & kickstarted 2 cohorts of product management and web development. But we soon realized a few things:
- There wasn't a strong founder-market fit.
- Cohort Based Courses aren't effectively scalable.
- What is really missing in most of the students is the motivation to learn and not the resources.

We ran 2 cohorts and decided to pivot.
Co-founder & CEO, GOALS.
Took a class on Emergency Preparedness
Disaster Planning
Recovering from failure
+ 1
Today I attended a virtual Emergency Preparedness class hosted by REI. For as long as I can remember I've been interested in planning for worst case scenarios and my senior quote in high school was: "Prepare for the worst and hope for the best".

Earlier this year I learned about the 5 Pillars of the AWS Well-Architected Framework: Operational Excellence, Performance, Security, Cost Optimization and Reliability. At one point in my AWS class I had to choose one of the five pillars to research and I was drawn to the Reliability Pillar as it included Disaster Recovery (DR).

Perhaps it is because I have had to overcome two layoffs within my career, or having to deal with the sudden, unexpected, and at times tragic death of numerous loved ones at a young age, the idea of being able to recover quickly from failures and how to handle change appeals to me. For some reason I never considered that businesses would also have to prepare for worst case scenarios. In retrospect, I know it sounds foolish and naïve.

Anyhoo, bringing it back to the Emergency Preparedness Class I took today. The biggest takeaway that I enjoyed was learning that the key to survival essentially comes down to having a Positive Mental Attitude or PMA. I've included the notes that I took for reference. While they seem like common sense, in times of stress this advice is easy to forget and lose sight of. I can easily see these steps applied in everything from CTF competitions, business meetings or even just life in general.

Hope this might help someone else out there!
Dec 13, 2019
Designed something that got rejected
Tried designing something
Got Rejected from an Internship

Content Development Executive was the role I have applied for. It is a role in the Edtech Start-Up.

I thought I can get in since my designs skills were at par and I had also purchased a course from them.

But I realised that my predictions were wrong.

Although I have designed my resume with all my mind and energy on a 5 inch mobile screen using the greatest tool of designs for noobs, Canva.

One week passed and I got no notice from them.

I was a bit devasted since I hadn't even received a chance to prove myself.

Maybe they have already detected that I used the Canva for designing this.

But let it be. I will try looking for some more opportunities. 
Aug 01, 2016
Took a course on consciousness
Took a college course
Failed at reading research papers
+ 1

Took "Consciousness and Cognition"


Learned about what consciousness is through subliminal priming, blindsight, neurological disorders that affect consciousness, and more. For the final paper, we had to write about whether Ken Parks was conscious when he drove to his mother in law's house in his sleep, basing our opinion in modern models of consciousness.

I struggled in this class. I couldn't concentrate on the dense research papers, which helped me decide to not pursue the academia side of cognitive science. Moreover, the tests were rigorous but pushed me to learn the concepts deeply.
Alumni, Linguistics & Cognitive Science Major (CS subconcentration), Scripps College
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