Two quotes on failure:
“Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”
The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.
Also there’s an excellent post on Hacker News titled What has been your biggest mistake? Some of the ones I like are:
“Getting a degree. Honestly, I didn’t need it. Contentious subject I know, but from the Hacker perspective, I have always relied on self learning in concentrated bursts to get me through – want a thorough understanding of TCP/IP? Spend 3 weekends going through the documentation and then playing around. Not 6 months in rigidly structured classes with no leeway for progression above and beyond what is in the curriculum. I could have got a job that paid my pocket money, whilst learning more and coming out with less debt. “but would this have paid off?” I hear everyone say. My degree or time in education has absolutely no standing of where I am now, apart from the fact that I feel I could have been here by early twenties instead of mid twenties”
“Spending the first half of my twenties working my guts out for a big corporation where my efforts went largely unnoticed outside of my immediate sphere. I’m certain that if I put that time into a start-up I would be much better off today — even if it failed.”
and I laughed at this, which is probably deeper than I currently appreciate:
I’m kinda curious – is there anyone who doesn’t regret their twenties? We’ve got three posts regretting working for the wrong startup (mine, menloparkbum, and gscott), one working for a big company (yours), one going to grad school (timcederman), one getting a degree (jobeyonekenobi), and one doing nothing (johnyzee). So apparently working for a small company is bad, working for a big company is bad, not working is bad, and getting educated is bad. What should one be doing?
Not focusing on ideas that interested me, but rather ones that interested others.
Biggest Regret: Waiting too long.
My worst mistakes were in doing what was expected of me, rather than what I wanted to do.
Lastly, I’ve been listening to Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture and I encourage anyone who hasn’t to check it out.