On Little Failures

Ladies and gentlemen, I regret to inform you that I have failed. By failed I don’t mean “Total Mission Failure”, BugMuncher growth is still on target. It’s more like the failure of an optional side quest.

Back in September 2015, when I started this mission to take BugMuncher from side project to profitable startup, I also set my self the goal of writing at least one new blog post per week. I didn’t actually mention that goal until my post on content marketing in October 2015, but the goal was there from the start.

I managed to stick to that goal very well, until last week, during which I didn’t write a single new post. This blog focusses a lot on my successes, January 2016 being a prime example, so it’s only fair that I document my failures with equal enthusiasm. And last week, I failed.

Of course if I’d just written this post on Friday, I wouldn’t have failed. But then if I hadn’t failed, I wouldn’t have been able to write the post, so I’d still have failed. But, then…

Anyway, it would be very easy for me to make excuses, after all I’ve been really busy working on the new BugMuncher control panel and API. The truth is, on Friday I knew I hadn’t written any blog posts that week, and I knew I had at least 5 ideas for blog posts in my Trello list that I could have knocked out in an afternoon. I just chose to carry on programming, no excuses.

However, failing has made me think about the goal itself, and I’ve realised that it was impossible to succeed, failure was the only possible outcome. Many a year ago, when I was in school, we were taught about goal setting, and how goals should be S.M.A.R.T:

  • S - Specific
  • M - Measurable
  • A - Achievable
  • R - Relevant
  • T - Time limited

It’s something that’s always stuck with me, and has definitely helped me in life. And yet when it came to this blogging goal, I set my self up for failure by not adhering to SMART.


The goal was “at least one new post per week”. Seems pretty specific. But then, does an average of one post per week count? I know when I set the goal I wasn’t thinking average, but it’s not clear from the wording. And if averages count I haven’t failed.


Yeah, it’s pretty easy to measure a blog post, I pride myself on my ability to count to one :)





Time limited

This is where I really failed. With out a time frame, success is not an option. How do I know when I’ve achieved this goal? I wanted the goal to be an ongoing task, but there still needs to be a time frame, at the end of which the goal can be evaluated and re-set.

New goal

So I failed, and I’ve come to terms with it. Now it’s time to set a new goal, this time a SMART one:

I will publish at least one new blog post every week (not average), for the next six months

And yes, this post counts :) See you all next week.

- Matt