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Happy Accidents

Accidents happen. Sometimes they are bad and sometimes they are good. I’d argue that the difference between good and bad is often just a mindset. I’m referring to the way that people handle a negative accident. When something goes wrong, many get upset about it instead of taking a moment to figure out what actually went wrong. There is likely a learning opportunity attached to the misfortune but even better, we might even be able to create something better.

It’s easy to get upset when something goes wrong but it’s always important to keep our composure. The best way to improve or learn is through accidents and mistakes. Learn to embrace mistakes, they make you so much stronger and so much better.

Let’s look at a couple accidents that forced innovation. The first is the “Post-It Story”. At the time, 3M was working on an ultra-strong adhesive to use in airplane construction. There was a mistake and that led to creating an acrylate co-polymer microspheres, which was a pressure sensitive adhesive. Post-It’s were born from that mistake.

The second story is about a Houston man, Roy Hofheinz who was better known as “The Judge.” He created the Astrodome in 1965. This was the first building of it’s size to have a glass roof. It was also intended to house the “new” Houston Astros. As baseball was a secondary function of the building, players searching for fly balls started losing them in the glass. The glass was then painted which eliminated the natural sunlight in the building and killed the grass on the field. Something needed to happen so the Astros could play baseball so Astroturf was born.

Accidents and mistakes that turn into pure gold are not entirely uncommon. They don’t have to be as significant as these examples but they happen all the time. Keep your eyes open and your head up during failures, you’d be surprised at what you might find.

I encourage everyone to get into reading, it can be life changing. Here is a small reading list of some that I’ve enjoyed to get you started:

I’m writing tips each week for people aspiring to improve. These are not industry related but they generally have something to do with growing as a person or growing a business. My intention is to help others grow while growing myself. My book recommendation this week is “The Go-Giver” by Bob Burg.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss something, feel free to shoot me an email at

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