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You gotta fall once in a while.

I recently rode a vert ramp in Echo summit and left with a gnawing feeling of failure. I did not ride very well, conversely I did not skate terribly. But, I still felt like a loser. After a bit more reflection I realized that I did not fall one time during our 5 hour session. That’s good, right?

No. It goes against one of the earliest lessons that I learned about life.

February 1977 Skateboarder magazine. Tony Alva said in his controversial interview, “If you don’t fall once in a while you are doing something wrong.”

Ah grasshopper, this is not just about skateboarding. It is and has been a beacon for me since I first comprehended its meaning.

Playing it safe has never paid for me. Not sure why, but I always feel worse playing it safe than being battered to a pulp. Skateboarding, Advertising, Design, dumb sports cars.

Case in point. Was New Coke a failure or just a bruised elbow on the path to world wide domination?

I believe it was a display of nimble thinking during a disaster and demonstrated the ability to capitalize on an opportunity to reward brand loyalty.

Let’s hear what you think. Best comment on this truth+dare post gets a shirt.

  1. #failure

    Comment by kelly on July 21, 2011 at 4:17 pm

  2. A wise man once told me his best trick was getting up.

    Comment by Tyler St.Pierre on July 21, 2011 at 4:52 pm

  3. Broken bones. Mothballed storyboards and comps. I’ve fallen plenty. Funny how I don’t have any memory or mementos of the safe stuff.

    Comment by Patrick Emerick on July 22, 2011 at 5:42 am

  4. Pat,
    I knew you would understand. I hope we get to work on a project some day.

    Comment by stanbyers on July 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm

  5. I think New Coke was a failure. Glad they went back to the original. It was silly to think that consumers wouldn’t stop to ask “What was wrong with the Old Coke? “You told us the ORIGINAL coke was the best and we trusted you. Why the change?” Coke might have as well tattooed “We’re trying to dupe you, stupid asshole” across its forehead. That’s no way to create loyalty.

    The Coke category should have no need to stray if their values are solid and accurately defined. And we all know they are, right? At one time, they had the advantage of no competition. No misspent advertising dollars. Why do they now? Coke II? Puh-lease. Competing with themselves. I wonder who pays the bills. Talk about a desperate scramble to clean up a mess. That’s no way to live. Or drive sales, according to the articles on your post.

    Comment by Shauna on October 19, 2011 at 3:38 am