Erik Kessels, 'Failed it!' (2016)
This blog post is based on an extract from the Erik Kessels book, 'Failed it!'
The extract starts with a large quote from Kessels which says, "Let's face it, we've all failed. Maybe not on a grand scale, but in some way, shape or form, we've screwed up". In my opinion, he is trying to tell the reader that accepting your mistakes is a key aspect to succeeding in the photography industry. If you dwell on these mistakes, you won't progress any further than the point you are currently at in your career. He then adds to this by saying that everyone has to embrace failure eventually, "Unless you're hopelessly narcissistic".
When writing about the definition for the word 'failure', Kessels brings up a suggestion, "What if we re-imagine failure as one of the surest routes to creative success". The mistakes you make lead to improvements, which in turn leads to success. In order to fulfil this philosophy, you must understand your misjudgement and build on it. Further into the extract, he says that failures are just "the key elements in producing something new and exciting". This is a very strong statement, as it belittles the huge stigma surrounding the process of making errors in life.
In a slight change of subject, Kessels briefly speaks about the element of risk taking in the creative industry. He states that, "Far too often, playing it safe results in shiny, swirling, bland masses of 'meh'". It is always good to take risks for the possibility of it working out, otherwise you will end up with a boring final product, it could always pay off. After all, every successful project in the world was once a failure that was worked on.
One quote from the extract that I feel sums up the creative industry perfectly is, "When everything tells you to turn right, you might be better served by turning left". You shouldn't follow a set path when it comes to being creative, always explore the different possibilities and don't rein yourself in. If things in the industry start to become overused, it will ruin the whole concept.
In the final section of the extract, he provides examples of where "epic fails" have become hugely successful. One of these is Apple, who once tried to create their own street maps and removed Google Maps from all of their products. The team spent a lot of time building these street images, but faced backlash once available to the public. Roads were pictured going up the sides of buildings, motorways and roads were folded, along with a number of other errors. However, Apple eventually moved on from this and allowed their devices to use Google Maps, but with their own UI. Another thing Apple did was release a device called the Newton in 1993, which was described as a 'Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)', which they were ridiculed for by worldwide press. This then paved the way for the creation of smartphones and the revolution of the devices. I think these examples are fantastic, due to the fact that Apple are a multi-trillion dollar company as of August 2020. A couple of other examples Kessels gave were Coca-Cola, which was created due to a drug addiction, and the pacemaker, which was a mistake that has now saved millions of lives.
The main point Erik Kessels is making with this is explained in this quote, "don't coddle your ideas hoping to avoid an epic fail". 
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