Failure is not an option, it’s a necessity: Technically Philly at BarCamp NewsInnovation

A year after focusing strictly on business, the three of us at Technically Philly took a softer approach at BarCamp NewsInnovation 2.0, which we again sponsored and organized [Notes here].

The event was held today, April 24, 2010, again at Temple University.

Find video, our slides and presentation notes from our talk below.

Failure is not an option (it’s a necessity)

Five Stories about Failure

1. Ad Sales — “Until you have the right person, you are the right person.”

FAILURE: Wasted time, energy and resources. [Tried a half dozen commission-based sales people]

LESSON: We should have been selling ads ourselves.

2. Business Roadmap — “Don’t hang out with Brian. It’s depressing.”

FAILURE: We thought we’d be making money by month three.

LESSON: Double or triple the time your business plan will take.

3. Business Criticism — “To be honest, we’re not always sure what [Technically Philly is] trying to accomplish.”

FAILURE: Uh, we were criticized in a best-of issue.

LESSON: If you’re noticed, your work will be scrutinized.

4. Potential Partners — “I don’t see the point of meeting.”

FAILURE: Turned down an opportunity to meet with a key business leader.

LESSON: In this new media environment, everyone is a potential partner.

5. Investment (sappy anecdote) — “Well, that wasn’t THAT depressing.”

FAILURE: We started Technically Philly (and said some silly things in front of important people).

LESSON: We’ve learned much, met many people and improved what we know in the space of journalism.

The presentation is also available here. See and hear the presentation from Samurai Tours here.

When we were asked for more embarrassing stories, we realized we should have also shared the story of our speaking engagement with the Women’s Press Association of Pennsylvania, in which no one showed except the organizer and former Philadelphia mayoral candidate Queena Bass. Or we could have told one of the half dozen times Sean has been under dressed when going to cover events.

It was a fun session with a few practical takeaways, we hope. If nothing else, it seemed well-received.

Some Tweets

  • Anthony Ruiz of Samurai Virtual Tours quotes me about being stupid
  • Freelancer Amy Z Quinn agrees on the concept
  • Freelancer Morgan Zalot picks up on our swearing working in threes is the best
  • Newspaper company digital chief Jason Krustifek noted our take that everyone can be a partner.
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