Lessons from the Unreasonable Institute: Pierre Bataille on failure
We asked this year’s Unreasonable Institute Fellows, who are in the early stages of developing innovative social ventures, to reflect on some key takeaways from the eight-week Summer Institute they attended. Here, Pierre Bataille, co-founder of Playable (formerly APAID), shares his experience.
By Pierre Bataille
Through the Unreasonable Institute, I have learned how to embrace failures and see them as concrete learning opportunities and leverage them to improve and achieve success. Things won’t work smoothly all the time (almost never!) so you’ve got to deal with it and be comfortable with failing. One mentor explained that once one of his colleagues blew $25K and therefore had a meeting with his boss about it. He was clearly expecting to be fired from the company but the director just answered, “Why would I fire you? I just invested $25K in your education!” The conclusion to that is, “Fail fast, fail often and enjoy it!”
The power of relationships! This is the biggest message I bring back from the institute. At first, I thought I would bother people by talking about my business immediately. I thought they would think, “Why is this awkward guy with a weird accent coming to talk to me?” But as Daniel Epstein, President of the Unreasonable Institute, says, “Business is not business; business is people” – and he became my guru in this. We need to think that relationships are simply a social interaction between human beings and connecting on a personal level is important for successful networking. Having a coffee or sharing a meal with someone is the best way to share and exchange experiences. That is exactly what we do with the world-class mentors at the institute (e.g., Paul Jerde, Greg Miller, Marc Mathieu, David Bornstein… the list goes on forever). The conclusion to this is global networking is one of the keys to success.
Photo: Pierre Bataille