One day, there was nothing.  The next, Angry Birds dominated everything.  But this was the 20th game from Rovio, the company that created Angry Birds.  What about the other 19?  Did they fail?

In this episode, I talk about:

  • The new Angry Birds Movie
  • What the definition of Failure is
  • Is it Failure?  Or is it data?

Transcript:

Good morning everyone. Welcome to the path to 1 million. My name is cliff and this is episode 118 so the other day I’m driving down the road and there was a billboard for the new Angry Birds movie, “Angry Birds Movie 2”. I remember when I’m Angry Birds came out like way back in the day. It’s, I don’t play video games much on my iPhone or I’m an iPad or actually I don’t even have an iPad at that time I have at my pad, but I don’t play games very much on the computers or anything else. I’m just too busy for that. I’d rather be doing other things, but it seemed like one day Angry Birds didn’t exist and then the next day was everywhere. I remember seeing it like I would go meet my friends for breakfast and they’d be playing it on their phones that they’d be playing it on their iPad and they would just play this thing for hours and hours and hours and I was like, good grief, what is this? 

They would try to explain to me the concept about slinging an animal across a screen and you have to hit this pig or you know, the pigs were laughing and there’s some kind of eagles that were flying around and dropping stuff. I, and I was like, oh, interesting. Okay. Anyways, everybody just seemed to love this game and everybody was playing this game. And next thing you know, they came up with all of this merchandising, right? You could not walk 10 feet in any kind of store without seeing something about Angry Birds, whether it was a stuffed animal, whether it was a sticker, whether it was a board game, whether it was blah, blah, blah. Next thing you know, they’re rolling out a movie around it. And um, you know, I’m thinking to myself, you know, okay, this school, this company has, you know, got this game out there and they’re doing a great job of it. 

And of course they’re going to merchandise it and they’re going to milk it for all of its worth. Because in today’s Day and age, it seems like things are here today, gone today. So if they’ve got an opportunity to, you know, be able to brand this and make some money on it, let them go right to it, you know, let them, let them have at it. Anyways, what was interesting is after, you know, it kept going for the, you know, few months or two and then the mayor, my friend, my friends are still playing it and there was new levels that you could download and all this other stuff. Uh, I actually did some research on there and the company that created this reveal, what I found to be absolutely fascinating was that Angry Birds wasn’t their first game that they came out with. Actually Angry Birds was probably about the 20th game that they had come out with all previous games that revio if I said that correctly, reveal had created a, were basically failures. 

They went nowhere. They were creating games, they were turning them out and nobody was buying them. Or if they did buy them, it was like maybe you know, a few, you know, a few hundred people would buy them or something like that. But they kept turning out game after game after game after game. And every time that they would turn out a game and they would put it out there, they would kind of tinker around with some ideas and what worked and what didn’t work. And then they would try to launch a new game around it. You rebrand it to be something else and then they would to tweak around with some ideas with that. Then they would do another game and to do another and do another and their whole, their whole business model. And I, and I kind of had to laugh about this when I started taking a look at it, but really their whole business model was based on failure, which I thought is, it’s a very intriguing concept. 

We’re going to keep trying something until we hit success. And I know for a lot of people they sit there and say, well, Doug Clay, why wouldn’t you want to do that? But there’s, there’s so many times in life where I’m, I’ve seen other people do this. Um, and I’ve actually experienced this a few times in life where it seems like if we hit any level of resistance or if we meet some kind of a point in there, you know, we consider it to be a failure, you know, then it’s like, you know, game over, oh, it didn’t work, you know? Boohoo but the, one of the things that as I’ve gotten older, one of the, one of the things that I’ve shifted, I’m on the things that I focused on is the fact that, you know, all these people that have created these great companies or these great businesses, or they’ve created these great products, uh, things that we use every single day, people that really know success, there’s always a litany of these quote unquote failures that are behind them. 

And then I started asking myself, well, what is this? What if it’s really not failures? You know, because to me, failure as a state, as success is a state. But what if it’s not really failure? What if it’s just data? You know what if you tried to do something and it didn’t work and you ask yourself the question like, okay, well, all right, that didn’t work. The next question is why didn’t it work? Right? Figure that out. Do the autopsies so to speak on it and figure out, okay, it didn’t work because of x, Y, z. So let’s try again and then let’s just change these things and see what happens. And then you try it again. You try it again. A recent example of this would be for my 25 by five k challenge, which I’m going to get back into now that I’m feeling better. 

Uh, the 25 by five k challenge for a couple of days there, I was really struggling. For some reason I just could not seem to make my runs work for me and I would get out there and I was having problems and I was having issues. I very easily could have just said, you know what? This is just too much work. Uh, you know, I’m in my late forties, maybe I shouldn’t be doing this. I’m sure my doctor would freak out if he knew that I was running or something along those lines. But instead read it as a take a take a step back. And I look and I’m looking at everything that I’m doing and I’m like, okay, well what do I need to tweak in order for me to have better runs? What do I need to do to, to get me to be successful? And that’s when I started looking at things like, for instance, like my diet, because I knew that right before the run I had changed my diet. 

I also knew that a year ago I was running really, really well. So something in there had changed. I had adopted a new philosophy or something or another that was impacting my ability to run. I just kind of have a hard time believing, especially at my age, that know it could deteriorate so much, where I can be really good at at running a five k one time. And then you know, just within the span of eight months be absolutely horrible at it. So then it was a matter of going back and tweaking. And what things work for my diet and what doesn’t work and what am I going to be able to, to change where I can, you know, maintain all of my goals. And that is, you know, not only to lose weight, you’ll be able to be able to run the five k. So all of a sudden now I didn’t take a look at, you know, once again, it’s not even looking at everything and saying, okay, I failed. 

It’s looking at everything and say, okay, what can I learn from this? What, what is the lesson that I can draw from this so I can tweak something and change it? Because every time that you have a goal, every time that you have some kind of a challenge in front of you or whatever it is that you are looking to succeed or be successful at, or whatever it is that you’re doing, and I’ve often found that you’re never going to hit it out of the park on the first try. You might, there’s always that Unicorn that’s out there, but trying to hit it out of the park on the first try or thinking that you’re going to hit it out of a, out of the park on the first try. Uh, for me anyways, um, you know, always put forth your best effort. But if it does not work, then it’s a BLB ability to be able to step back and say, okay, what do I need to tweak? 

What do I need to change? What worked and what didn’t work? And sometimes you’re flying blind with data. I mean, you know, you take a look at Thomas Edison, right, with the light bulb and everybody knows the story, right? Everybody, you know, he tried over a thousand different variations of creating the light bulb before he finally stumbled onto the combination that worked. I made, if you want to talk about flying blind, he literally was, but at least today you have, you know, and I know I talked about this before, pod an episode 15 for the price of 20 bucks. You’ve got access to anybody’s knowledge out there. So if you try something and it didn’t work, it’s like, okay, well what if we tweaked our, our Facebook marketing? Or what if we tweaked, uh, the messaging that we’re using? Or what if we tweaked, I mean, you’ve got access to all of this different data out there that you can use to try to make sure that you’re trying to achieve that goal. 

Whether it’s something that’s personal or something that is business. So in my world, rather than looking at something as a pure failure, I always look at it as gathering more data. And sometimes the data will point to the fact that maybe this goal is not achievable for me. Or maybe this objective is not achievable for me, which is fine, I’ll be able to take the lumps. At least I tried. And maybe something else will come along that says, you know what, this here didn’t quite fit but this fits better. So then I will give that a try and I’ll work around with that. So really at the end of the day, you know, putting the concept of failure over to the side, viewing everything as data, either either succeed or I’m collecting data, one of the two has really helped to reframe my viewpoint, my perspective on a lot of the goals that I am a pursuing, a lot of the challenges that I’m having as far as my time management goes, everything. 

Just, just changing that reframing that in my mind has really had that level of impact on everything that I’m doing. So, you know, with regards to failure, you know, the only thing that I can say about that is just a quote that I read from, uh, from uh, Albert Einstein, somebody who knows a couple of things about failure. But he actually said that a failure is just when you stop trying. So I think without being said, if there’s any goals or anything else that I’m chasing or that I’m pursuing that are actually worth obtaining a failure, you know, to coin the phrase, failure just isn’t an option. But data certainly is. Anyways, just wanted to share with you with that today. Some of the thoughts are rattling around in my head. I’m so glad I’m feeling better. It feels really nice to be back to me again, and I will talk to you guys again tomorrow with another story. I will see you then. I have a good day.