Fail + Learn – #flearn

To boost the amount of great failure in order to embrace the learnings and explodify the successes, we came up with the following hashtag;


Of course it’s a combination of Fail plus Learn.




Brief history;

  1. Australia doesn’t embrace failure because life is so darn good why have the ambition to bother trying and even risk failing.
  2. We want a great startup industry here so we want more good failure.
  3. Some great peeps ran Failcon in Sydney and we all got jazzed up.
  4. I ran a final session on turning the ra-ra into action.
  5. We started a shared spreadsheet with fail ideas and owners of them.
  6. We followed up with a brainstorming session at Pollenizer today with some people from a co-working Jelly jumping in.
  7. Right at the end when we almost gave up, Ross Gerring suggested flearn.  Great work Ross and team!

What a great story – so much good came together!

So why use it?

  1. Most importantly because you will always fail and learn your way to success so embrace it.
  2. To give us a comfortable language in order to share our failures.
  3. To bring failures out to the world and stop them being hidden under the rug.
  4. To have a way to search and find good stories when we’re feeling bad (or complacent).

How to use it?

  1. Easy – just whack it on the end of tweets
  2. Use it in blog posts
  3. Pop it in presentations
  4. Add it to your LinkedIn profiles (Like me)
  5. Write about it in your magazines and newspapers if you’re a journo (hint!)
  6. Say it out loud.
  7. Use it at a task, project, business or life level – all learnings from failings are beneficial.
  8. Share it and share it and share it.
Some suggested sentences;
  • “Oh god, zero responses, what a epic #flearn”.
  • “Server not responding… umm, #flearn”
  • “So the customer said to get lost, he’d never pay me ever. Great #flearn”
  • “We just stuck it up there and tried some different options. Super fast #flearn”

Some of my proud #flearnings:

  • Blowing up 5 monitors I was trying to sell when 19.
  • Trying to sell advanced technology to governments when I was 24.
  • Trying to sell disruptive technology to big corporates at Kazaa when I was 26.
  • Getting a lift with guys I’d just met in Tanzania. Big #flearn kids.
  • Going against my gut instinct just because someone was more ‘experienced’ than I was. #zapr
  • Not saying someone should not doing something because it would hurt their feelings.
  • Doing far to much at once. #tangler
  • Launching to the world when you’ve only got 10 customers. #posse
  • Thinking that because I convinced someone to do something that they really got it. #manytimes

 So go and #flearn as fast as you can.