Why project failure can be a wonderful opportunity

Project failure can be a great thing.  Indeed, it can be the foundation and even requirement for innovation to take place.  How come?  Well, we are made to believe that project failure is always a bad thing.  But why?!  Why not take a second look a project “failure”, express our frustration, find out what really didn’t work as planned or desired and why?

hand_help_flag_400_clr_10897This is what we did with i-Sparks during the last couple of weeks. i-Sparks has been up and running for a couple of months now.  While online traffic is quite high considering that we are not actively promoting i-Sparks and we have more than 200 registered users, actual progress, i.e., results or outputs of i-Sparks have been minimal at best.  This was not enough.

Now, there were a number of options.  a) continue as usual, b) bury i-Sparks, or c) celebrate our struggles and invite the i-Sparks community to build a new business model for i-Sparks.  We thought that option c) was and is best.  What does this mean?

We have been revisiting the original inspirations and vision of i-Sparks and its first steps towards this mission and have been openly sharing our problems. Based on the results of this exercise we started developing ideas how to proceed.  Remodelling our business model will be at the core of this exercise.  Last but not least, we want to realize the new business model.

What has changed?

  1. Rather than inviting community members to share their new project ideas for social change, i-Sparks is shifting its focus to motivating and helping individuals and organizations turn project failures into projects for success.
  2. Projects for social change still inspire us.  However, we realized that focusing on social projects only we missed out so many other promising project ideas we decided to widen the scope.  This means we now welcome virtually any project idea.  Social change will remain one (out of many) important project category.
  3. Audience:  i-Sparks is open for anyone facing a seemingly insurmountable project challenge or having just experienced a project “failure” and wants to talk about it and ask the community for feedback and advice how to proceed.

More to come?

You bet.  We will keep you in the loop as new project challenges will be entered.  For the time being visit the latest project challenge “Lost & Found ID” and, of course, our own project challenge “Celebrating Failure“.


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About i-Sparks

i-Sparks is an online community that motivates and helps individuals and organizations turn project challenges and failures into projects for success.  
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