Share your great mistakes

In the comments on the post below, John Caddell says he started MistakeBank so people could share their valuable booboos. Fascinating idea.

So what are the great mistakes you’ve made that opened up a new idea or opportunity? What are great mistakes others have made?

  • I printed 5,000 corporate brochures with a typo in them.

    I proofread more closely now.

  • Matthew Terenzio

    I believed that the newspaper industry would one day understand the web.

    • Kevin


  • Rob Hogan

    I got married. Big Mistake…HUGE!!!!! But now I’m divorced, so I got better.

  • Taking a year off before going to law school instead of going straight after undergrad. I feel old and under constant pressure to compete against everyone even though I’m just a year older than everyone else.

  • Joseph J. Slevin

    This would go in the believe it or not file. In 1989 I was talking with a friend about things I was hoping to do later in life. One was opening a used bookstore. I told her that since I like to drink coffee or something, I was always wanting to drink something when browsing books. I told her that I wanted to have a coffee shop or something etc., that people could buy while browsing. Well, she thought it was a great idea and started telling every book store she went into about it. She and her boyfriend took a trip between socal and the bay area, telling every bookstore owner they visited about the idea. Even the local book store had a coffee nook within weeks of her telling them. Wish I had kept that to myself and had done some digging on how to develop an idea. Just a thought that you need to trust whom you share and brainstorm ideas with and when you do, be ready to act on them yourself.

    • Ward Loockx

      Sound familiar. I’ve been working on a project (web project) in my spare time and it was online but not finished yet (for google indexing), but after 2weeks of time a company launched a new website with the same idea, the motivation of working on my project was going down (since they attracted a large user base in a few weeks). But hey! Now somebody is testing and I can see the different benefits from a user perspective and use that knowledge to improve my project (maybe in the future the systems can communicate with each other to make it smarter and let the users be more happy about the service!). Jeff/others do you have any toughts/remarks/tips about these situations?

      (this happend a few weeks ago)


  • Mike Manitoba

    Didn’t have the nerve to tell Deanna I loved her when she left town in ’94. Biggest mistake I ever made in journalism.

  • Aw, Mike, that is the sweetest.

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  • Telling a VC about my idea without a non disclosure agreement

    1 year later while I was still getting it off the ground he appears as the CEO of a new company executing the idea I shared with him

  • Started my own web agency but realised you should have financial back up in your bank before jump in. But things got better now…