FailCamp

How to Get to FailCamp Toronto 3 from Union Station

by Joey deVilla on September 29, 2009

Most of you will be heading to FailCamp via public transit, and many have asked how to get to FailCamp’s venue, the South Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, from Union Station – here’s how!

First, go up to the main level of Union Station, which looks like this:

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On the west end of the station – the side with the Harvey’s – you should see a sign marked “Skywalk”. Go down that hall!

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Keep going…

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There’ll be a slight twist to the left, but keep following the hallway! You’ll get to a tunnel like this:

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Keep going! At the top of the steps at the end of the tunnel, it’ll turn left and you’ll see this:

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That’s the entrance to the actual Skywalk, which looks like this. Follow the signs to the door on the left that says “Convention Centre”…

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…then follow the signs that say “South Building”…

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…and follow the arrows that lead you to the TechDays conference. FailCamp is in room 716, which is on the 700 level of the South Building. Note that the 700 level is below the 600 level, not above it.

skywalk 8

See you at FailCamp!

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The Manifesto of Fail and FailCamp Toronto 3

by Joey deVilla on September 28, 2009

failcamp_toronto_3 

In honour of tomorrow’s event, FailCamp Toronto 3, I present The Manifesto of Fail, which was published for the FailCamp held in Philadelphia last summer.

The Manifesto of Fail

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Failure is the default

From biological species to companies to government policies, there appears to be an Iron Law of Failure, which is extremely difficult to break.

Paul Ormerod, Why Most Things Fail

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Failure can be intrinsically valuable

The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more to me than any qualification I ever earned.

J.K. Rowling, Harvard Commencement Speech

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We can bond through our failures

But there is an even stronger reason why we can learn from the failures of others, beyond the simple pleasure of knowing that an expert can fail too. It has to do with our ability as human beings to relate better to people in their failures than in their successes, and to learn more in the process.

Richard Farson, Management of the Absurd

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And bonding over failure is a good thing

Over and over again, when people ask how they can achieve the Silicon Valley-type of opportunities in their areas, I tell them, "Celebrate failure."

Tara Hunt, Losercamp

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Also, beer is a good thing

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

Ben Franklin (allegedly)

FailCamp Toronto 3

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FailCamp Toronto 3 takes place tomorrow night – Tuesday, September 29th – at the South Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, room 716 at 7:00 p.m.!

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It’s a FREE event in which you’re invited to share your tale of epic fail with your peers, whether the failure was personal, business or technical. By celebrating failure, we hope to overcome the fear of failure, which in turn leads to fear of trying. We want people to unlearn the moral that Homer Simpson taught his children: “You tried, and you failed. So the moral of the story is: never try.”

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We’ll start FailCamp with an opening monologue talking about failure in general, some well-known and obscure failures throughout history and why we fear failure. Then we’ll turn the microphone on you, the audience, and challenge you to tell your most spectacular and epic story of FAIL. Our “Judging Panel of FAIL” featuring Justin Kozuch of Refresh Events and Meghann Millard of Unspace will preside and decide which stories are most worthy of winning valuable FAIL prizes.

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After FailCamp, we’ll make our way to the pub. FAIL demands beer!

For more information about FailCamp Toronto 3 and to register (remember, it’s free!), visit FailCamp’s event page.

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FailCamp Toronto 3 Happens Next Tuesday!

by Joey deVilla on September 24, 2009

When life gives you a lemon, make lemonade. And when your company produces a cringe-inducing video on how to host a Stepford party, you repurpose it:

the_real_partys_at_failcamp

Don’t forget that FailCamp Toronto 3 takes place this Tuesday, September 29th at 7:00 p.m. in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building, Room 716. If you’re coming in from the Front Street entrance of the Centre, remember that you’ve got to go up one floor then use the bridge to get to the South Building.

Here’s a map of level 7 of the South Building showing room 716, where the FailCamp magic takes place:

mtcc_south_building_map

Tell Me Again: What is FailCamp?

FailCamp is a celebration of failure. It’s about sharing your tales of epic fail and the lessons you learned from them. It’s about learning not to view failure as defeat, but as a learning opportunity and stepping stone to success. It’s about taking away the fear of failure and learning to take a chance, think big and achieve what you thought you couldn’t.

We’ll start with some stories of historical failure: some you’ve read in the history books, and some culled from our own personal histories — the wisdom of fail through the ages. Then we’ll turn the microphone on you, inviting you to share your greatest stories of failure, challenging you to entertain the audience and even win prizes if our "Panel of Fail" deems your failure or the lessons derived from it to be the best of the bunch. The more embarassing, hilarious and educational your story, the better! Where else can you win big by losing big?

Joey deVilla (Microsoft, DemoCamp, accordion trouble-making) and John Bristowe (Microsoft) will host the event, encouraging you to confess your failures while sharing their own. FailCamp alumni Meghann Millard (Unspace, RubyFringe, FutureRuby) and Justin Kozuch (Refresh Events) and others will be the Panel of Fail whom you must impress in order to win prizes.

How Do I Get Tickets?

It’s very easy, because the event is free! Just sign up on our event page and show up on Tuesday, September 29th at 7:00 p.m. in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building, Room 716!

click_here_to_register

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failcamp_toronto_3

FailCamp Toronto 3 is 10 days away! Come join us in our “celebration of fail”. We’ll share stories about the times when things went pear-shaped, got SNAFUed, or just plain failed — and just as important, the lessons we learned from them. And unlike many failures, FailCamp’s admission is free.

For more details about FailCamp, see the FailCamp registration page or this earlier article.

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Kanye West Wants You to Go to FailCamp!

by Joey deVilla on September 15, 2009

failcamp_kanye

That’s right, you want to join FailCamp Toronto 3, the celebration of FAIL taking place on Tuesday, September 29th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre! Take it from Kanye, you don’t want to miss this event. For more details, see the FailCamp event page and my earlier article on FailCamp Toronto 3.

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FailCamp Toronto 3 / Tuesday, September 29, 2009 / Metro Toronto Convention Centre

That’s right, we’re holding another FailCamp in Toronto! Mark Tuesday, September 29th on your calendar and be prepared to share you best/worst stories of FAIL, impress the judges in our “Panel of Fail” and win big prizes!

Here’s what the event is all about, as taken directly from FailCamp Toronto 3’s event page:

The pictures of Sean Connery in his ridiculous costume from Zardoz can only mean one thing: it’s time for another FailCamp!

FailCamp is a celebration of failure. It’s about sharing your tales of epic fail and the lessons you learned from them. It’s about learning not to view failure as defeat, but as a learning opportunity and stepping stone to success. It’s about taking away the fear of failure and learning to take a chance, think big and achieve what you thought you couldn’t.

We’ll start with some stories of historical failure: some you’ve read in the history books, and some culled from our own personal histories — the wisdom of fail through the ages. Then we’ll turn the microphone on you, inviting you to share your greatest stories of failure, challenging you to entertain the audience and even win prizes if our "Panel of Fail" deems your failure or the lessons derived from it to be the best of the bunch. The more embarassing, hilarious and educational your story, the better! Where else can you win big by losing big?

Joey deVilla (Microsoft, DemoCamp, accordion trouble-making) and John Bristowe (Microsoft) will host the event, encouraging you to confess your failures while sharing their own. FailCamp alumni Meghann Millard (Unspace, RubyFringe, FutureRuby) and Justin Kozuch (Refresh Events) and others will be the Panel of Fail whom you must impress in order to win prizes.

FailCamp takes place on Tuesday, September 29th at 7:00 p.m. at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (255 Front Street West, between John and Simcoe Streets). Admission is free — all you have to do is register to attend, and make sure you bring your best story of fail! It’ll be full of win!

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Book of the Day / A Proposed Patron Saint for FailCamp

by Joey deVilla on September 9, 2009

Cover of the book "How to Avoid Huge Ships", featuring a picture of a huge ship

The reviews of the book How to Avoid Huge Ships on Amazon UK won’t tell you very much about the actual content within its 122 pages, but they are quite amusing. For example, here’s J. Courtney’s review:

Instead of falling into the same trap that other authors of this subject fall in to, such as "stay on land" or "move out of the way", John Trimmer offers thought provoking, deep insight into the complexities of Huge Ship avoidance.

If you or anyone you love plans on setting out to sea any time soon, and are worried about encountering a huge ship – then I cannot encourage you enough to read this book.

Here’s another review, this one by Gordon Hawk:

Trimmer’s book is deceptively simple, take his opening passage for example:

"when walking down a local thoroughfare, or perhaps on a day out to your local dock, and suddenly, seemingly from nowhere, a 40ft metallic compound hull emerges in your line of sight, it is most likely, if not definitely, going to be – a huge ship"

It’s theoretical groundwork like this which lacks from today’s ‘pick and choose’ postmodern discourse. Trimmer unleashes this devastating examination with relative ease; most interestingly with chapters such as "Avoiding the ship itself: Moving Left or Right?" which comes up with a flurried and meticulous deconstruction of ethics and theoretical obstacles, for instance "is there anything on either side of the huge ship? – if so, and there is, it is probably, if not definitely, going to be – difficult to move round to that side of the huge ship".

A must for those with an eye for Naval pragmatism and/or a small ship.

Jessica Watson aboard her boat

I was led to the book by a comment from a wag about the snag in Australian teenager Jessica Watson’s attempt to become the youngest person to sail around the world. Less than 24 hours into her journey, she collided with a bulk cargo ship, snapping the ship’s mast and damaging the deck. She is unharmed, the ship is getting repaired and she still intends to go through with the trip. That’s very good news, considering how many people I’ve seen give up on something after the most minor of inconveniences, snags and bumps in the road.

Jessica, I salute you with a filet mignon on a flaming sword, and nominate you for patron saint of FailCamp!

(And yes, plans are in the works to have another FailCamp. Watch this space!)

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