Failed It! by Erik Kessels

The latest book by Erik Kessels, co-founder and creative director of the advertising agency KesselsKramer, is all about failures — or rather those that began that way but turned out to be brilliant innovations. One example is the pacemaker, which has changed the lives of millions of people. This invention only exists because Professor Wilson Greatbatch used the wrong resistor for the device he originally had in mind. In Fail It, Kessels shares stories of many more brilliant failures out there that you can draw inspiration from.

The big question is how to create similar brilliant failures yourself.

That’s one way to hang up an ad

Screw up and get noticed
If this advertising banner had been placed correctly, nobody would have really noticed it. But because it was accidentally placed the other way around, people will notice the unexpected ad and remember its message longer than usual. So, if you want to be noticed, do not strive for perfection. Everybody already does this.

One of the many great photographs by Matt Stuart

Keep looking around
The London street photographer Matt Stuart succeeds time and time again because he is at the right place at the right time. He always finds striking combinations and inconsistencies where the rest of the world ignores them. It’s not pure luck that Stuart finds these mistakes. By carefully looking around, you can find great inspiration anywhere, and then a peacock suddenly becomes a rubber duck.

Cherish the illogical
A balcony with no door, a disabled toilet where you can get stuck — even these imperfections can inspire you.

An example of the collection from Heike Bollig

Even robots make mistakes
The collection from artist Heike Bollig consists primarily of objects for everyday use with small defects. Because of these imperfections, they instantly become more exciting and eccentric. So shut off your quality control and start making mistakes, even small ones. Even robots make mistakes every now and then, and so should you!

Do not be afraid to be disliked
If you look at the bestseller lists, you will find the taste of the mass. Twelve publishers rejected the first Harry Potter book. Dare to be unpopular. If you want to be liked by everyone, you must constantly compromise. So try at least once a day to make a bizarre proposal.

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”
Samuel Beckett

This book is a great gift for clients if they are really risk averse, because, at the end of the day, that path will lead to dullness. On the other hand, though, failure will get you on a path that leads to success and originality — eventually. Don´t expect it to happen overnight.

Make mistakes. Every day.

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