Famous Failures

Famous Failures

famousfailures.libsyn.com/website
On Famous Failures, I interview the world’s most interesting people about their failures and what they learned from them.


Scott Harrison on Transforming Himself and Ending the Water Crisis
Jan 14 • 39 min
Scott Harrison is the founder and CEO of charity: water, and the New York Times Bestselling author of . In 13 years, with the help of more than 1 million donors worldwide, charity: water has raised more than $400 million and funded more than 44,000…
BJ Fogg on How Tiny Habits Can Spark Big Life Changes
Dec 31, 2019 • 34 min
BJ Fogg is a behavioral scientist with deep experience in innovation and teaching. At Stanford University he runs the and also teaches his models and methods in graduate seminars. On the industry side, he trains innovators to use his work so they can…
Laura Vanderkam on Why You Have More Time Than You Think
Dec 17, 2019 • 34 min
Laura Vanderkam is the author of several time management and productivity books, including , , , , and . Her work has appeared in publications including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and Fortune. If you’d like to…
What to Do When You Make a Mistake
Dec 3, 2019 • 7 min
This is a short, solo episode of Famous Failures. Instead of doing an interview, I speak about what you should do when you make a mistake. The episode is based on a blog post I wrote a few months ago, which you can find . If you enjoyed this episode,…
Rene Denfeld on Healing Trauma and Telling Her Story
Nov 19, 2019 • 29 min
Rene Denfeld is the author of the acclaimed novels , , and . Her literary thrillers have earned glowing reviews from the New York Times Book Review, among other venues. Margaret Atwood, who is the renowned author of Handmaid’s Tale (among other…
Why the “Fail Fast” Mantra is a Recipe for Failure
Nov 5, 2019 • 8 min
This is a short, solo episode of Famous Failures. Instead of doing an interview, I go on a riff on why the popular “fail fast, fail often” mantra is misguided. I offer an alternative that produces better results and explain how you can use it to…
Whitney Johnson on Disrupting Yourself
Oct 22, 2019 • 38 min
Whitney Johnson is a leading business thinker and expert on disruptive innovation and personal disruption. She covers the framework for personal disruption in the critically-acclaimed book . Originally an award-winning stock analyst, Whitney…
Think Like a Rocket Scientist
Oct 8, 2019 • 14 min
In this special episode of Famous Failures, I read a never-before-released excerpt from my forthcoming book, . If you the book, you’ll get amazing bonuses that are worth 10x the cost of the book(s). What’s more, if you pre-order the book in any…
Tim Urban on Overcoming Procrastination and Finding His Voice Through Experimentation
Sep 24, 2019 • 35 min
Tim Urban is best known as the writer and illustrator behind the incredibly popular blog , which has garnered millions of unique page views and famous fans like Elon Musk. His deeply researched long-form posts on everything from artificial…
Lindsey Horan on Winning the Women’s World Cup
Sep 10, 2019 • 37 min
In 2012, eighteen-year-old soccer player Lindsey Horan defied conventional wisdom when she turned down a scholarship from soccer powerhouse University of North Carolina. UNC is almost a guaranteed path to the big leagues for talented and hardworking…
Nadya Okamoto on the Value of Being Unapologetically You
Aug 27, 2019 • 29 min
Nadya Okamoto is the Executive Director of (period.org), an organization she founded at the age of sixteen to provide menstrual hygiene products to those in need. PERIOD is now the largest youth-run NGO in women’s health, and one of the fastest…
Christine Carter on the Science of Happiness and Escaping the “Busy” Trap
Aug 13, 2019 • 38 min
Christine Carter is a sociologist, columnist and speaker. She’s the author of the books , as well as . She is also a Senior Fellow at the Greater Good Science Center where she explores the science of happiness and researches how to thrive in our…
Tiago Forte on Building a Second Brain
Jul 30, 2019 • 32 min
Tiago Forte is one of the world’s foremost experts on productivity. He writes and speaks on how knowledge workers can revolutionize their personal effectiveness using technology, and has taught more than 20,000 people around the world through his…
How SpaceX Bounced Back from the Brink of Disaster
Jul 16, 2019 • 10 min
This is a special episode of Famous Failures. Instead of doing an interview, I recount the story of the first three failures that SpaceX experienced on the launchpad, which brought the company to the brink of collapse. You’ll learn how SpaceX…
Ryan Levesque on Giving Up “Good” for “Great”
Jul 2, 2019 • 42 min
Ryan Levesque is the CEO of The ASK Method ® Company, and the #1 national best-selling author of , which was named by Inc. as the #1 Marketing Book of the Year. Ryan’s work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes, and…
Khe Hy on Taming Self-Doubt and Overcoming the Scarcity Mindset
Jun 18, 2019 • 44 min
Khe Hy is the founder of RadReads, which is a community of 20,000 professionals seeking to reexamine their relationship to money, ambition, and ultimately themselves. Khe has been called by CNN and by Bloomberg. He spent the first fifteen years of…
Tali Sharot on Our Power to Change Others
Jun 4, 2019 • 37 min
Tali Sharot is a professor of cognitive neuroscience and a leading expert on the neural basis of emotion, decision making and optimism. She has been featured in numerous media outlets,including The New York Times, Time magazine, The Washington Post,…
Susan Cain on Overcoming Failure and Unleashing the Power of Introverts
May 21, 2019 • 38 min
SUSAN CAIN is the author of , and , which has been translated into 40 languages, is in its seventh year on the New York Times best seller list, and was named the #1 best book of the year by Fast Company magazine, which also named Susan one of its Most…
Rob Walker on the Art of Noticing
May 7, 2019 • 37 min
Rob Walker is an author and journalist covering design, technology, business, the arts, and other subjects. He writes the Human Resource column for Lifehacker, and has contributed to The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Atlantic,…
Julian Guthrie on Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things
Apr 23, 2019 • 41 min
Julian Guthrie is an award-winning journalist, New York Times best-selling author, and all around adventurer who loves underdog stories. Her new book, due out April 30, is . Julian has interviewed some of the world’s most dynamic leaders and loves…
Sahil Lavingia on Failing to Build a Billion-Dollar Company
Apr 9, 2019 • 41 min
Sahil Lavingia is the founder and CEO of , a web platform where creators can sell products directly to consumers with quick, simple links. Sahil was the second-ever employee at Pinterest before starting Gumroad with the goal of making it a…
Julie Zhuo on Becoming a Facebook Manager at 25, Overcoming the Impostor Syndrome, and Staying in the Discomfort Zone
Mar 26, 2019 • 37 min
Julie Zhuo is the Vice President of Product Design at Facebook. As one of Silicon Valley’s top product design executives, she leads the teams behind some of the most popular web and mobile services used by billions of people around the world. She…
Amy Edmondson on Psychological Safety and How Companies Can Learn from Failure
Mar 12, 2019 • 38 min
is the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School. She is best known for her pioneering work on psychological safety and failure. The topic recently gained widespread popular attention after a February 2016…
Rachel Simmons on Helping Girls and Women Move Beyond Impossible Standards of Success
Feb 26, 2019 • 36 min
Rachel Simmons is the author of , and the New York Times bestsellers and . As an educator, Rachel teaches girls and women skills to build their resilience, amplify their voices, and own their courage so that they—and their relationships—live with…
Maren Kate Donovan on Zirtual’s Meteoric Rise to Overnight Failure
Feb 12, 2019 • 33 min
Maren Kate Donovan is an entrepreneur and writer. Her first venture-backed startup, Zirtual, grew to over 400 employees before she turned 30, but then, due to the perfect storm of missteps, was forced to shut down overnight. She now uses her unique…
Jennifer Dulski on Being Too Stubborn to Fail and Becoming Head of Facebook Groups
Jan 29, 2019 • 37 min
Jennifer Dulski is the head of Facebook Groups, a product used by more than 1 billion people. She has more than fifteen years of experience at successful startups and big-brand Internet companies, including as a business unit leader at Yahoo! and as…
Selina Tobaccowala on Creating a Company Culture Where People are Willing to Fail
Jan 15, 2019 • 27 min
Selina Tobaccowala is a serial entrepreneur who started coding in her Stanford dorm room in the late 1990s. Selina and her college friend Al Leib co-founded Evite, which was the dominant platform for online invitations. After Ticketmaster acquired…
Dina Kaplan on Finding Her Path and Overcoming Failure Through Meditation
Jan 1, 2019 • 43 min
Dina Kaplan is Founder of The Path, which teaches meditation for the modern mind. The Path has taught thousands of people to meditate around the world. Before founding The Path, Dina was co-founder and COO of the tech start-up Blip. Before Blip, she…
Matilda Ho on Revolutionizing the Chinese Food Industry and Learning from Failure
Dec 18, 2018 • 47 min
Matilda Ho is the founder of , one of China’s first online farmers markets to bring organic and local produce to families. She’s also the founder and managing director of , China’s first accelerator and venture capital fund that invests in…
Erica Ariel Fox on Winning From Within
Dec 4, 2018 • 43 min
Erica Ariel Fox is an advisor to CEOs and other senior executives on their leadership challenges. She is the New York Times best-selling author of , and she’s taught at Harvard Law School for most of the last 20 years. Her thought leadership is shared…
Austin Buchan on Democratizing Access to College and Helping Students Cope with Failure
Nov 20, 2018 • 41 min
Austin Buchan is the CEO of , which is a nonprofit that coaches students from underserved backgrounds to achieve the benefits of higher education and a college degree. One of the central tenants of College Forward is the belief that everyone who…
Derek Thompson on Google X, Embracing Failure, and Making Hits
Nov 6, 2018 • 45 min
Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic magazine. He writes about topics as diverse as behavioral psychology, professional sports, and blockbuster films. Derek also hosts , and is a weekly contributor to “Here and Now,” the national…
Jordan Selleck on Navy SEALS, Start-Ups, and Persistence Through Failure
Oct 23, 2018 • 32 min
Jordan is the CEO and Founder of , which is like eHarmony for commercial lending. The platform has facilitated over $350 million in deals. Jordan is the Co-Founder and Chairman of , a nonprofit dedicated to helping Navy SEALs and other elite veterans…
James Clear on Habits, Decision-Making, and Continuous Improvement
Oct 9, 2018 • 34 min
James Clear is an author and speaker focused on habits, decision-making, and continuous improvement. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Entrepreneur, Time, and on CBS This Morning, and is taught in universities around the world. His website…
Chelsey Korus on Turning Tragedy into a Love Story
Sep 25, 2018 • 36 min
Chelsey Korus is one of the most preeminent teachers of yoga. Over the course of her career, she has been featured on Live! with Kelly and Michael, PopSugar, Fitness, Shape, Prevention Magazine, Yoga Journal, and Women’s Health, and many, many…
Susan Henderson On How to Deal with Failure & Critique
Sep 11, 2018 • 36 min
Susan Henderson is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee and the recipient of an Academy of American Poets award. She is the author of the novels, Up from the Blue (HarperCollins, 2010) and The Flicker of Old Dreams (HarperCollins, 2018). She blogs at…
Neil Pasricha on How Seeking Approval Can Lead to Failure
Aug 28, 2018 • 44 min
Neil Pasricha is the author of five New York Times bestsellers including The Book of Awesome, a catalog of simple pleasures based on his 50-million hit, award-winning blog, and The Happiness Equation, a nine-step guidebook to happiness based on new…
Caroline Webb on How to Build Resilience in the Face of Failure
Aug 14, 2018 • 38 min
Caroline Webb ( and ) is the CEO of Sevenshift, a firm that shows people how to use insights from behavioral science to improve their working life. Her book on that topic, , was published in 16 languages and more than 60 countries. The book was…
Shane Snow on His Personal Failures and The Power of Storytelling
Jul 31, 2018 • 49 min
is an award-winning journalist, celebrated entrepreneur, and the bestselling author of the books and , as well as the co-author of . He is founder-at-large of the content technology company , and is a board member of The Hatch Institute, a nonprofit…
Jessica Bennett on Becoming the First Gender Editor of The New York Times & How Failure Furthered Her Career
Jul 17, 2018 • 36 min
Jessica Bennett is an award-winning journalist and author who covers social issues and culture through a gender lens. She was recently appointed the first-ever Gender Editor of the New York Times. Jessica is the author of the bestselling book, …
Chris Kresser on Challenging the Status Quo in Medicine and How Failure Can Be a Blessing in Disguise
Jul 3, 2018 • 42 min
Chris Kresser is the CEO of Kresser Institute, the co-director of the California Center for Functional Medicine, the creator of ChrisKresser.com, and the New York Times best-selling author of The Paleo Cure. He is known for his in-depth research…
Wayetu Moore on Escaping Liberia’s Civil War and Creating a Nonprofit to Improve Literacy in Underrepresented Cultures
Jun 19, 2018 • 40 min
Moore is the founder of One Moore Book is a nonprofit organization that encourages reading among children of countries with low literacy rates and underrepresented cultures by publishing culturally relevant books that speak to their truths, and by…
Thor Conklin on Buying a Company with $1M of Fake Inventory
Jun 12, 2018 • 40 min
is an entrepreneur, profitability consultant, and host of the . 2018 marks his eighteenth year as an entrepreneur. The first company Thor created was a global risk management consulting firm that served the private equity community….
Dr. Tasha Eurich on Overcoming Imposter Syndrome & Using Self-Awareness to Cope with Failure
Jun 5, 2018 • 37 min
Dr. Tasha Eurich is an organizational psychologist, researcher, and New York Times best-selling author. Over her 15 year career, she’s helped thousands of professionals—from Fortune 500 executives to early stage entrepreneurs—improve their…
Ari Meisel of Less Doing on Overcoming Crohn’s, Recovering from $3M of Debt and Building a Successful Coaching Company
May 29, 2018 • 30 min
Ari Meisel is a best-selling author, productivity expert, CEO, real estate developer, and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business. Several years ago, Ari encountered and ultimately overcame severe personal roadblocks…
Jordan Harbinger on Being Fired From The Art Of Charm & Viewing Failure as an Opportunity to be Even Greater.
May 22, 2018 • 53 min
Jordan Harbinger, once referred to as “The Larry King of podcasting,” is a Wall Street lawyer turned talk show host, social dynamics expert, and entrepreneur. Jordan hosted the Art of Charm, which is a top 50 iTunes podcast, for over a decade….
Sarah Robb O’Hagan: Fired from Virgin & Laid Off by Atari to then be Named One of the Most Creative People in Business
May 15, 2018 • 28 min
Sarah Robb O’Hagan has been described by the media as everything from “Superwoman undercover” to the “Pied Piper of Potential.” She is a high-energy combination of disruptive business leader, fitness fanatic, and cheerleading mom, and has…
Case Lawrence: Surviving the 2008 Recession to Creating a World Wide Brand with Over 300 Locations
May 8, 2018 • 38 min
Case Lawrence went from the brink of bankruptcy to found and lead a global trampoline park company with over 300 locations in just 7 years. As a commercial real estate developer in California, Case was decimated by the Great Recession of 2008. While…
Laurie A. Watkins on Reducing Stress Through a Healthy Lifestyle - Advice from Barack Obama’s Campaign Policy Director
May 1, 2018 • 39 min
Laurie A. Watkins is an accomplished writer, public speaker, seasoned political strategist, and entrepreneur. She worked as a former policy director for both of President Barack Obama’s campaigns, served in positions from Capitol Hill to the…
Nir Eyal: How to Cope with Failure by Viewing Everything as Prom
Apr 24, 2018 • 19 min
Nir Eyal writes, consults, and teaches about the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. He has been nicknamed “The Prophet of Habit-Forming Technology” by M.I.T. Technology Review and named one of LinkedIn’s “Top 10 Voices in…
Scott Amyx on Achieving Success Through Discomfort
Apr 11, 2018 • 26 min
is the Chair & Managing Partner at Amyx Ventures, a venture capital firm, and an author. He grew up in South Korea without a father and in deep poverty. After he immigrated to the United States, he was placed in foster care and moved from home to…
Bonnie St. John: A Paralympic Ski Medalist, Former White House Official, and Best-Selling Author on Overcoming Adversity and Building Resilience
Mar 28, 2018 • 32 min
Bonnie St.John is an Olympic Medalist, bestselling author, highly sought after keynote speaker, and a leadership consultant. Despite having her right leg amputated at age five, Bonnie St. John became the first African-American ever to win medals in…
Verne Harnish: Failures In Scaling Up
Mar 21, 2018 • 36 min
This week’s guest on Famous Failures is Verne Harnish. Verne is the founder of the world renowned Entrepreneurs’ Organization, which has over 12,000 members worldwide. For 15 years he chaired the Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s premier CEO program…
Bea Arthur: How to Stay True to Yourself as You Build Your Company
Mar 15, 2018 • 22 min
A child of entrepreneurs, Bea Arthur has used her tenacity and creativity to become a successful therapist, entrepreneur, and media personality. She’s employed her clinical training to develop innovative companies in the mental-health sphere…
Barbara Oakley: From Flunking Math to Becoming an Engineering Professor
Mar 8, 2018 • 18 min
Barbara Oakley defied the odds (and her early educators) by overcoming perceived weaknesses in math and science to become a professor of engineering at Oakland University. She’s also the Ramón y Cajal Distinguished Scholar of Global Digital…
Gretchen Rubin How Gretchen Failed Her Way to #1 On the New York Times Bestseller List
Mar 1, 2018 • 20 min
Gretchen Rubin started her career in law—even clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor—before stopping everything to become a writer. Though the transition was pitted with failure, it turned out to be one of the best decisions she…
Srinivas Rao: The Art of Being Unmistakable
Feb 22, 2018 • 20 min
Srinivas Rao is a bestselling author and the host of the wildly successful Unmistakable Creative podcast, where his guests range from Olympic athletes to bank robbers to trailblazing entrepreneurs. He self-published his first book, The Art of Being…
Isaac Lidsky: From Saved By the Bell to the U.S. Supreme Court
Feb 8, 2018 • 21 min
is an entrepreneur, bestselling author, and coveted speaker. But that brief description doesn’t do justice to his remarkable resume. Lidsky was a child television star, appearing as series regular “Weasel” on NBC’s “Saved By The Bell: The…
Ryan Carson: Avoiding Heartache Down the Road
Jan 30, 2018 • 13 min
RYAN CARSON is neither ashamed nor apologetic about his initial failures as an entrepreneur. Rocky beginnings are what spurred Ryan to evaluate his motivations very early in his entrepreneurial journey, and avoid a boatload of heartache down the…
Hank Weisinger: A World-Renowned Psychologist and Pioneer in the Field of Pressure Management
Jan 30, 2018 • 54 min
HENDRIE WEISINGER, Ph.D. A world-renowned psychologist and pioneer in the field of pressure management. He’s a two-time New York Times bestselling author. He has consulted with and developed programs for dozens of Fortune 500 companies and…