Monday, April 7, 2008

Monday morning muses - April 7, 2008 - You gotta swing

Saturday morning, I sat down with my wife Sandy and she informed me that she had heard (on the sidelines of the morning's soccer game) that Skybus had gone out of business. As I heard the news my mind raced into damage control mode - we had purchased tickets for three separate trips for summer travel on Skybus - now what?

The good news is that I think we'll get all of our money back and we'll still be able to have one vacation trip (the second one got tanked - it's not cheap to fly with a family of six) . In fact it was amazingly simple to call someone early on a Sunday morning, have them pull up my account info and arrange for credit. All in the span of less than 2 minutes. Wow - the power of technology.

Anyhow while I bemoan the fact that Skybus tanked I also applaud the fact that we, in Columbus, gave it a shot.

It is a scientific fact that you will never hit a ball that you don't swing at.

As Thomas Edison said:

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.

For us to grow technology in Columbus we have to foster a culture that encourages and celebrates taking a risk.

News flash - innovation and growth is correlated to taking a risk.

Rather than play Monday morning quarterback I'd rather see us focus our energies on what are the lessons to be learned and move on quickly from there. I'm glad that the board was bold enough to make a decision to pull the plug after the appropriate debates. I sure hope that the board (and the Skybus investors) decide to take another swing.

If you believe that you gotta swing to hit the ball - what are each of doing to encourage risk taking and innovation on your teams? What have you personally done in the last 90 days outside of your comfort zone? Change has to start on a individual basis.

We as a community will never win on the global stage if we are playing not to lose.

We gotta play to win

As my kids say - peace out.

Happy Monday - Ben


Blogger Ed Billmaier said...

Great post Ben! I could not agree more. I hope we are able to see a skybus 2 in the future!

April 7, 2008 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Tim Haynes said...

As Ben and others who contribute to this blog know well, other vibrant tech/business regions around the nation/world have built their reputation on risk-taking. I don't see it as much about "accepting" failure but rather about being committed to the process. We all have faced tough situations where we must bounce back and learn from our experiences. We're always stronger after those situations.

There's a saying that the only experts are the ones who have made all the mistakes.

Glad to see people discussing these topics.

Tim Haynes

April 8, 2008 at 9:18 AM  

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