Failure is Often More Fun, Too.

I used to watch American Idol a long time ago, but I wasn’t looking for, or even rooting for, the winners. In fact, once the show had gotten past the huge masses of people who tried out for it, and moved to Hollywood to pare the singers down even further, I often stopped watching. If you ask me, the most interesting acts are the ones we don’t see, or barely see. We see some of those acts if the producers just happen to come across someone who can be laughed at (remember William Hung). We see little snippets of really bad singers, or outrageous acts etc. What about all those people we don’t see? My guess is that there are a ton of gold in them thar’ hills. Some of that failure was really interesting.

Take Kickstarter for example. They only seem to highlight the successes. But I’ve dug through the bowels of it (and yes, both Kickstarter and Indiegogo have bowels) and found a ton of interesting stuff. Stuff that you know is good, but likely won’t fund, because the perceived market is too small, or that the potential funders think that they will never meet their goals. I saw some really cool stuff. This is all long tail stuff, which would likely appeal so some small portion of the market, just not enough for Kickstarter. One wonders: if the future is in the long tail stuff, then how can the long tail stuff ever be realized without someone funding it? In the end, Kickstarter, even though its supposed to help fund the long tail, they still create strata by focusing on the successes as opposed to focusing on interesting, unfunded projects. The failures.

My hope is that there are other people out there who are just like me – mining the bowels (I have to come up with a better word for that) of these sites looking for gold, and maybe if we see something interesting, if the project doesn’t look like its going to be funded, we contact the submitter and maybe invest directly. After all, don’t you find that even though the top stuff IS cool, maybe some of the bottom stuff is even cooler?

Failure does often lead to success.