I love building things.
Notice how I said “building?” I don’t consider myself creative, I’m not an innovator and I’m nowhere near being a visionary. But I LOVE building things.
4 years ago, me, my brother, and a friend of ours thought of an idea. We were fed up with how bad traffic was in Metro Manila. We thought, what if we could build a service that encourages ride-sharing, or more commonly known as carpooling.
We scoured the web for local competitors and found none. That was the year Columbia Pictures released “The Social Network.” I told my brother I’m in. I hurriedly quit my job in a call center and read books on PHP and SQL.
In less than a year, we launched. angkas.ph was live and ready for universal consumption. I made a counter just like the one in the movie. I had the page automatically refresh every 5 seconds and watched as registration commenced. We got featured in a magazine. We made it big — or so we thought.
Today marks the 3rd anniversary of our failure. You could imagine our reluctant surprise now that Uber has made numerous headlines. That could’ve been us.
Embrace failure, they said. But it was hard back then. I announced to my colleagues that I was going to be a millionaire soon. I just couldn’t accept the fact that we failed.
Hindsight is 20/20. 3 years later, I’m now able to appreciate failure. It made me realize how I wasn’t ready back then. I wasn’t even close. I thought you could breeze your way through it just like in the movies. I missed like 4 out of the 5 required steps to a successful launch.
Now, I’m hungrier than ever. I’m devouring books here and there — and these aren’t web development books. These are books to help me understand not just what I did wrong back then but also the little things that I did right. I’ve also worked for and is currently working for a startup — which should help fast-track the learning process or, if not, at least make myself indifferent to burning out.
I’m going to launch another startup soon and this time I’m going to be ready. I know this because I now embrace and cuddle failure in my sleep. Be ready to fail. This is where a great amount of learning happens. Fail, iterate, and launch. You’ll never know you’ve built something until you’ve actually failed.
Originally published at writtenbymike.wordpress.com on June 29, 2015.