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Fuckup Night

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Dreadful decisions, terrible timing and even foetal sabotage – last night saw folk gather for the first ever Cornwall-based Fuckup Night.

Coming together to celebrate all things mistaken, misjudged, and even downright dangerous, this was an evening of no holds barred honesty.

Candid confessions came from Mark Anderson, co-founder of Sideways Cornwall, accident-prone and all-round creative Pete Kirby and our two very own Stranger Collective founding partners Helen and Clare.

From growing too fast too soon, to the foolish pursuit of perfection, a double partner maternity leave (with babies born within four days of each other), to finding yourself in a financial maelstrom, we learnt that behind every fuckup is an opportunity waiting to be seized – even if from where you’re standing things look rather bleak.

Fuelled by some delicious food from Ben Quinn and his team, lubricated by the lovely folks at Sharp’s Brewery (with their mysterious beer and food matching van), and set against the backdrop of a St Agnes sunset, it was the perfect setting to appreciate the silver linings of failure’s cloud.

Here are four lessons we learnt from the speakers’ fuckups:

One: Perfection is impossible.  Most of the time striving for utter perfection means you’re missing out on creative opportunities. Plus fucking up means you come across as more human and relatable. Perfection is for robots.

Two: Always lie to your bank manager. And never, ever say “Well, what would happen if we went bankrupt?” They simply don’t need to know the extent of your peril.

Three: Growth is not a marker of success. A happy team and projects with purpose should be where your focus lies.

Four: Look before you jump. If you’re going to leap across a waterfall halfway up a Cornish cliff, always make sure there’s a fireman close by. (Pete Kirby is a lucky man.)

2 Responses Subscribe to comments


  1. Michael Hormann

    It is uplifting to read such a honest article! Making mistakes is certainly something all of us experience, and some of us open acknowledge.
    Celebrating mistakes and failures feels a good way to deal with all the de-motivation and disappointment, when something like this happens. At the end it is about keeping the passion in doing what we like to do, by questioning,learning and improving. Without mistakes and “fuckups” there is no evolution and we as humans would not exist.

    May 17, 2016 @ 3:10 pm


  2. Nicola

    Absolutely Michael. I think a lot of people are scared of failing, so don’t put their ideas out there enough. When actually the idea of success is a very subjective one – whose idea of perfection are we all trying to reach anyway? Amie wrote a great piece about Chaos Theory, and how a little bit of chaos and uncertainty actually helps us to advance, think it might be up your street: http://stranger-collective.com/chaos-why-our-lives-depend-on-it/.

    May 17, 2016 @ 3:27 pm

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