So it’s been more than a month since Spring Break passed, and with planIt, we were expecting that many TCU students will travel using the website and get started with creating trips online.
That didn’t happen.
We put out great social media content for over a month, used yard signs for advertising throughout the campus, and sent out emails to signed up members. Not one person gave a single shit about it.
Clearly, we’re doing something wrong. But what is it?
After thinking (too much) about it, this is what I came up with:
First, we aren’t getting the message across clearly. People are still doubtful on what is it and how it works.
Second, let’s say you go somewhere on spring break, so you need to return back too, and that’s highly unlikely to happen since the number of users is so limited on the website as of now.
In short, we failed. But not really.
I’ll be the first one to admit, it sucks. It sucks big time when you work your ass off on something that you HOPE people are going to use and they literally say, “Screw you.” But it’s okay. Not the end of the world.
This is just a micro-failure. It is recoverable. Just one of the few micro-battles that we lost. But what’s important is that we tried it.
Personally, I love to fail. Or at least trying to fail. There’s this struggle you have to go through when you’re trying something new, and chances are, 99.99% of the times you’re going to fail. And I love that struggle. That struggle alone has taught me most of what I’ve known about anyone or anything. When you’re in that struggle phase, you deal with things you never expected to face. So you throw yourself in this unknown territory where nothing is black or white but all gray and unclear. And there you take the most practical approach available to humankind.
Try. Fail. Learn. Repeat.
People ask me how I’m good at writing being a non-writing major, or how do we win business competitions with having zero background in it. Here’s a fun fact: for my first 100 posts or so, no one gave a shit about this blog. I’d post, and one or two random people bored on the internet would read it and not even say anything about it. At that time, it looked like I failed, but what that really was just micro-failing in order to get better at writing and learning how to use different platforms to reach out to more people. Same with business competitions, or any other aspect that I’ve spent time on.
Nothing valuable comes fast.
It takes time to build something out of nothing. Whether you’re trying to make your app work, or learning how to swim, or being great at basketball, it’s not going to happen overnight. All those micro-failures will one day result in your macro-win. You just have to know where you want to be and do the dirty work to get there.
With planIt, we want to create a social transportation network, where people utilize empty seats in their cars to make traveling easier for people looking for cheap alternative to get somewhere. This comes with a lot of dirty work to be done. And a whole lot more micro-failures. But that’s fine. If not in the first round, we will win the game in second, or the last round, but we’ll keep on trying.
Even if we lose the game, it’ll definitely make one hell of a story.