What's Gulla's bill

Why it is important to make mistakes

There is this video in which the young American Christian Flores tries a laser flip triple set with his skateboard. The jump is difficult. Flores tries again and again, falls on his face, breaks his ribs, bleeds, howls and vomits. But then finally, after two years and 2000 attempts, he made the leap. “That was the hardest thing I've done in my life. Now I'm looking for a new challenge, ”says Flores at the end. And is happy.

Konrad Gulla, founder of the software company Keeeb, is also a skateboarder. For him, roller-boarding is the perfect analogy to life: “You stand on the board. You fall down. One gets up. You try it until it works. That's the only way to do it. ”The first attempt at a new trick, says Gulla, never succeeds anyway. And you know beforehand that it hurts. Sometimes even violently. As with Christian Flores.

On his dramatic roller coaster ride as an entrepreneur, with failure clearly in view, Gulla seems to have developed a fairly relaxed, almost sporty relationship to failure. Errors, setbacks and disappointments were and are his constant companions. He learns from them and gets better from them. One could almost think that he even likes mistakes a little.

"Don't worry about failure. You only have to be right once "

(Don't worry about failing. You only have to be right once), a quote from Dropbox founder Drew Houston, is one of Gulla's favorite phrases. And anyway, he's a fan of the US start-up scene, in which temporary failure is part of the vita of almost every Internet tycoon. The American dream. Rocky Balboa on the way to the top. You can smile at that. But how does the German dream work again? Avoid mistakes, shut up, muddle through?

As an inspirer and motivator, mistakes have never been popular with us. However, it is currently experiencing a new all-time low. Not a day without revelations or shit storms on the net. Not a day on which a relationship of trust is not broken by allegedly unforgivable mistakes somewhere. Everything is stressful because nothing is hidden. Risks outweigh the opportunities. Everything happens too quickly and the bill follows immediately. Who still wants to make mistakes?

»Business angels invest in people. The idea is of secondary importance at first and business models are allowed to change. Good investors are looking for people who are flexible, who learn from mistakes, but who never lose sight of their goal, «says Konrad Gulla and pleads for more confidence. And although I am not comfortable with the worlds of Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley, I can understand what Gulla means when I look at my job.

The silly design pitches, for example, where you have to present solutions and security before you have met your client, are both joke and constant misfortune at the same time. They avoid quality because they want to rule out errors from the outset. But nothing new comes into the world.

At the end of his lecture, Konrad Gulla recommends three things against the fear of making mistakes:
1. Be flexible.
2. Take every chance.
3. Enjoy your trip.
This may sound like rushes, but the kind determination with which Gulla calls them is compelling and helpful.

"A clever man doesn't make all mistakes himself. He gives others a chance too," Churchill once said. Those were the days.

PS: By the way, I believe that David Carson's fame grew out of mistakes. My theory: When the computer became a design tool in the early 1990s and nobody really knew how it worked, Carson had the courage and the humor to turn his spectacular failed attempts into designs - and started a world career.



Johannes Erler is a partner in the ErlerSkibbeTönsmann design office, which organizes the Creative Mornings at designxport in Hamburg, and is a co-founder of the Süpergrüp design collective. You can find the other articles from "Erler's Topic" here.

Photo: Robert Grischek

Keywords: Erler's topic

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