June 30, 2014
Failure: Lab is a speaker-audience experience modeled after TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design); but unlike TED’s frequent focus on success stories, Failure: Lab showcases stories of failure – and it instructs speakers not to provide lessons learned. Figuring out those lessons is the role of the audience, not the presenters.
Of course, one of life’s most bountiful laboratories of failure is sports. At least 50 percent of the participants in any athletic contest do not win. Sometimes it’s just one competitor out of 10 or 100 or 1,000 who wins.
In MHSAA tournaments, all but one team in each class or division ends the season with a loss. In basketball this past winter, only four of 729 high schools that sponsored boys varsity basketball ended the season with a victory.
It’s a fact; sports is a failure lab.
In the spirit of Failure: Lab, I won’t offer a defense or an explanation of the lessons learned. You’re the audience; you figure it out. Why do we go to so much time and effort to create this laboratory?