10,000 Failures ?

Updated: Apr 24, 2021

Over the years, I have become increasingly impressed with “think-leaders” who seek to understand human behavior rather than focus on defining what would be considered acceptable human behavior. It is through this understanding that we can solve problems that plague society. It was a pleasure to sit in on a webinar with just that type of "think-leader".

Dr. Ken Baake, Associate Professor in the English Department at Texas Tech University, spoke at the Texas Tech Climate Center’s webinar series yesterday. His topic of discussion was centered around society’s reaction to the United States oil boom in the early 20th century. For many, oil was viewed as our Creator's gift, a catalyst for the advancement of a modern economy. For others, oil represented the decay of a Christian society. Some religious leaders believed that oil would usher in a society fueled by a wanton desire for prosperity.

While the topic can lead us to a discussion about any number of issues, it caused me to think about the challenges facing innovators. Significant advances sometimes take decades to develop. Behind every great achievement are the countless failures and struggles. Most people have heard the famous Thomas Edison quote, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Innovation is driven by the individual that is willing to put in the time in pursuit of their life’s work. Change on the scale of the pursuit of reducing fossil fuel consumption is a monumental task. The incremental progress made to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels has been filed with stories of 10,000 ways that won’t work.

At Texas Innovators our goal is to bring our audience the story of the struggle. We aren’t focused on what you are struggling for as much as we are interested in your story of persistence. If you are putting in the effort, we can only assume your endeavor is worthy of your time. The story we want to deliver, is the passion you feel to drive through all the challenges.

Thank you Texas Tech Climate Center for organizing a great discussion and thank you Dr. Ken Baake for your insight.

Texas Tech Climate Center