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The other day I said I would speak at an event here in Missoula. I slept in, missed my speaking slot, and felt like a totally failure. So I read about some of the worst fails of all time to make myself feel better. I may have let some people down, but at least my fail didn't lead to the deaths of millions of people.


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A Bunny
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Good morning John. I'm gonna be completely honest. Sometimes i feel like a huge, gigantic failure. And we all feel like that and we're all petrified of failure. But John, one thing that gets me through all of my failures and keeps me trying new projects, day in and day out, despite the fact that i probably will fail is knowing that there are other people that have made decisions that have led to much bigger, much, much more significant failures than i will ever even have the opportunity to even get close to matching the level of those failures.

Today so that you and the rest of the world can know that your failures, no matter how big they seem to you are actually insignificant I am going to give you a list of the Top 7 most epic fails of history. That aren't in any specific order and are actually just the ones that i think are the most interesting.

Let's start out in 1962 when a young four man band walked in to Decca studios for an audition. The Decca studios manager concluded that the band had quote "No future in show business." A mere two years later, that band that we all know as the Beatles sold 50 million dollars of records.

Gigantic epic fail number 2 went a little bit like this. Men, congratulations we have been fighting a war with the Greeks for many, many years. They have all left and behind all that there is is this beautiful horse that they have made us to congratulate for our victory over them. Let us bring it into the walls of our city and leave it unguarded overnight. Aaaaaaaah.

Epic fail number 3. Getting involved in a land war in Asia. It's one of the classic blunders. More specifically if you're trying to take over all of Europe, just don't, just leave Moscow out of it. Just let them be. Similarly if you are a small, though very technologically sophisticated and interesting island nation, don't send a bunch of bombers over to um, bomb a country that you are not currently at war with. Especially if that country has just developed the bomb that can destroy entire cities.

Sometimes it seems like these epic fails aren't being made by one person but they are, they're decisions being made by men. But on a more understandable scale we have the 1960 performance of Wim Esajas. The first Olympian from the nation of Suriname, and his performance which will go down in history as the first Olympian from Suriname, was to sleep through his race.

Moving further back in time, in 1876. Western Union owned the entire system of communication in America. In 1876 Gardener Green Hubbard approached western with a patent for a device called the telephone. The CEO of Western Union went ahead and bypassed the agent of sale, wrote a letter directly to Alexander Graham Bell saying that Western Union had no need of this electrical toy. Alexander Grahame Bell instead of closing up shop, created his own telecommunications network which he named American Telephone and Telegraph [AT&T]. The telephone became the most valuable patent in history.

So tell me in the comments, despite the fact that none of your failures have ever led to the deaths of millions of people or to the loss of billions of dollars. Why are we so afraid of failure? And in lieu of that what is it do you think that you're afraid of?

John, I’ll see you on Monday.