Understanding and accepting failures


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Today, I participated in the Business Technology Group competition sponsored by Microsoft. With a case released just two days ago, our group was under intense time schedule to complete the analysis on top of quizzes, and assignments along with us. I also had to skip on the semi-formal held by Rotman which I heard was extremely fun.

Getting to the point, unfortunately, we couldn’t advance to the finalist round. I was disappointed at first as I thought I had given my best shot. However, after watching the four finalist teams’ presentations, I had accepted that they were better and various observations could be made.

1. Information supported with data

The points were delivered with the data that backed them up.

2. Easy to follow along

The points were organized in a way that both data and the points were presented in harmony.

3. Clear strategic framework

Step-by-step, presentations were clearly presented and could be followed along starting from market synopsis, problem statement, proofs and forecasts.

While we all try to play our best game according to the game theory, the first step to improving yourself as a better person is to accept that your method didn’t work, and try to absorb and learn from others and what could have been done different, what could I have done that others could not do. Then such observations should be re-experimented with an improvised method.


One of my favorite manga (comics) of all-time is Slamdunk, a story about a teenager going through the self-development and learn more about his potential through basketball. After a basketball game which he accidentally makes a mistake that resulted a loss of the team game, he was devastated. Then, one of his team players, who is a basketball elite, approaches him and says the following in an arrogant, but undeniable way: ” You think too highly of you that your mistakes mattered a lot. However, You did way better than what we all expected. The possibility of you making mistakes was already accounted for.”

Speaking in terms of regression to the mean, there could be ups and downs that come into teamwork including possible great work, or a mistake that influences the outcome of a team. but ultimately, it all comes down to trusting each other and playing the best game with the limited amount of resources we all have. Even luck, positiveness, and downsides are parts of the mean average of a team’s total strength. Stay humble. Stay consistent. Stay positive. Continue learning. Never stop experimenting and be grateful for what others teach and do for you.

Throughout the presentations by finalists, I was both in a state of discomfort and ambition. Accepting your failure or mistake is a very difficult task, and we sometimes avoid it, pretending it never happened. However, I kept murmuring myself, ‘stay humble. stay modest.’ I was at a place filled with great individuals from various places and I had to face that I must learn from what successful individuals did. It’s just like eating a vegi I hate. I sometimes maybe have wanted to look away, but I must face the outcome, accept, stay strong, and excitedly try to enjoy the learning process.

and I can say I’ve learned a lot.


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