Failure Club

More than any other program, the Failure Club represents the collaborative, risk-taking spirit of HackerMoms. Failure Club is where Hackermoms tackle difficult individual projects together. The idea is that members commit to a seemingly impossible and terrifying goal.

Each round of Failure Club lasts 3 months, and big projects can span multiple rounds with 3-month milestones. Those goals are posted on the wall and each week we meet report, applaud and hold each other accountable as we do what scares us and still survive. Members write books, invent products, make films, change careers, start businesses, make money, learn new fields, hack life and self. A Failure Club project is not trivial. It’s an emotional, high value one, the kind that wakes you in a panic whispering, to quote Rilke’s famous sonnet, “You must change your life.”

We each try to fail at it in a big way with our kids in the next room taking part in the action. We become each other’s cheerleaders, reality checks and shoulders to cry on, because in order to fail that big, we must really, really try, and for that we depend on our tribe to sustain us.

We share our personal networks of contacts, wisdom and resources. We adopt the design thinking motto of “fail early, fail often in order to succeed sooner.” We run a personal marathon in weekly sprints.

History and Inspiration

We started Failure Club seeing that women have a fearful relationship to failure and perfectionism that begins in childhood. However as creatives and life-long learners, we know that failure is a part of the creative process. Failing is good practice. We want to model that for our kids. As we make tangible these creative dreams and demons, we exit our comfort zones and enter the dangerous territory of risk and fear. Life begins at the end of our comfort zone.

Our Failure Club is inspired and modeled by those shown in director Morgan Spurlock online video series. There are Failure Clubs all over the world:

“From the outset, failure is not only a highly probable outcome, it is the desired outcome. Only through embracing the reality of failure can its societal stigmas be stripped away and replaced with an inspirational alternative. The Failure Club process will rewire you to look at ‘failure’ as acceptable and even fun. It is only then that one discovers that most of life’s limitations are arbitrary, self-imposed, and based on fear. And when we overcome that fear, we blow away our self-inflicted limits, and we will each achieve results that appear miraculous.”

We wish you the courage to fail fast and start again!