Findmypast Tech

Don't fail to fail

Juan Flores Juan Flores
Reading time: 1 min

(The numbers provided in this report have been made up for this post and they don’t represent the reality.)

I reckon, I have failed. So many times, but lately I have massively failed.

Let me give you some context: we have just released an API, we have our first customers just a few weeks ago. Due to a number of reasons one day I looked into the revenue that API was giving. Reporting and analytics are not my areas, but why not? Easy peasy, I went to the database and one minute and a few sql statements later, I had the number. ” £10k” I shouted. My product manager was so happy: “This is amazing Juan, £10k, in a couple of days.”

The day after these events my Product Manager came to my place: “Juan, Analytics came back to me with the number, your amount was wrong, we have made only 2GBP”. I was in shock, “let me check what happened”. I went back to my sql scripts and checked with my colleagues and there we go… I hadn’t filtered properly the revenue. Apparently I had to filter by a trans_status_key = 20

Some more days passed and we had a company AllHands, one of the big managers talked about the API, she gave the number: “Oblivion team has done an amazing work, we have already a revenue of £10k”. I felt like crawling into a hole and hiding.

I colleague came after that: “Juan, don’t worry, you need to remember that we need to celebrate failures”.

So that reminded me to that entrepreneur that was giving an interview about his successful business, he was running two very profitable companies. Someone asked how he managed to do that. He answered: “I haven’t told you about the other 5 failed companies I have tried to run”. Failing is part of the learning process, we make mistakes, we learn from them. If you never fail, does it mean that you are not learning?

I enjoy making mistakes so much. One day I will collate a list of my biggest mistakes so that I can always remember them and improve. What have your biggest mistakes been so far?