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I took a call on a late Wednesday afternoon because I was feeling lonely and disconnected from the world. I haven’t been on the road much in 2017 because I’ve been working on GlitchPath. When I’m not working, I’m doing quiet things like visiting sunflower patches or going to the beach by myself.

When a colleague wanted to catch-up on life, I decided to overcome my aversion to the phone and make an effort to be social.

The call started out straightforward enough. Small talk about the weather, families, work and volunteer activities. You know the drill. Then it came time for me to contribute something interesting to the conversation, and I geared up to talk about the nuanced position of my startup.

Namely, we’re fighting record job dissatisfaction and a flood of business tools in the marketplace. About 70% of people hate their jobs, and roughly 17% are actively disengaged and okay with sabotaging their work environments. It means that about one in every five employees steals food from the refrigerator.

(Is that you?)

Of the remaining 30% who might demonstrate some effort at the office, only a fraction feel that — even if the stars were all aligned and the odds were ever in their favor — they could beat failure. The biggest force of failure in the office? Misaligned expectations. If you’re still using Microsoft Excel and email to communicate and complete projects, which is what our research also showed us, are you honestly going to use a cloud-based platform to collaborate and beat failure?

(Not right now, you’re not.)

I was going to tell my colleague how I’m pausing GlitchPath and ending my investment. But that’s when he said, β€œI just want you to be successful at something.”

Those words hit me like a ton of bricks. I want to be successful at something, too. It sucks to fail. And, for a moment, I forgot that far too many of us see success and failure as opposite sides of the same coin. There’s money in the bank, or there isn’t. The software works, or it doesn’t. You either have the votes, or you don’t.

(Except, you know, that’s not always correct.)

So, I clammed up and said that everything was fine. It’s not a lie. Nobody died. However, I am ending this run because I’ve learned that no amount of code or fancy design will overcome the challenges of an immature idea that’s not ready for the market.

GlitchPath isn’t ready. I’m not the woman to bring this version of the product to market. I’m can’t make fetch happen. 

Does that make me a failure? Well, yes. Totally. I haven’t succeeded. That’s the very definition of failure. When you don’t reach your intended goals and objectives, you have failed. Therefore, I’ve failed. But I’m not despondent or jumping off a bridge. I’m pivoting and trying to figure out what’s next.

Does it sting? Heck yeah. But you know what else hurts? Being attached to something that isn’t going to work. To beat failure, you have to see failure. And I see it. It’s time to move forward and work on something new.

One of my advisors challenged me to write a list of the things I’ve learned from my experience over the past 18 months, and I’ll publish that list soon. Regardless, I have a viable future ahead of me. I’m excited to keep thinking about why work sucks and why projects fail. Who knows, one day I might strike gold and be good at something.

But GlitchPath isn’t it.

17 Responses to On Dissolving GlitchPath
  1. Mark Fogel

    From adversity comes opportunity. Your next endeavor will surely benefit from what you learned. I’m rooting for you to do the next great thing. I believe you have that something special. So take a breather, then get back on the saddle. Don’t look back, look forward ☺️
    Your friend and eternal optimist Mark

  2. recruitinganimal

    I think marx said, tho I can’t find it on google that it’s a curse to lead a successful revolution in a country full of peasants

  3. Vadim Liberman

    “I just want you to be successful at something.”

    You’ve succeeding as an amazing mom to half your state’s cat population.

    You’re succeeding as a supportive friend.

    You’re succeeding as a thought-leader who inspires, incites, and intrigues others.

    You’re LFR, after all! Plus, you have a great headshot. Nothing’s more important than that.

    Also, you can’t succeed at something unless you try. Most people fail before they give themselves a chance to fail. Thankfully, that’s not you. GlitchPath may have failed. But you have not.

    I’m a success. They all love me. The men love me. The women love me…I’m a winner, baby!

    • Colleen

      Everything Vadim said, above! πŸ™‚

      [Amazing “Mahogany” reference, btw. I’m gonna have to watch it again, soon.]

  4. Jill

    I’m glad you tried. And if your next venture doesn’t go well, I have a band name you can use: Kiss of Eternal Suckitude

  5. Jennifer Caraballo

    I think it’s pretty amazing that you tried to do something new. I’m also impressed with your entrepreneurial spirit – it’s something that I don’t have and I admire those that do. I think that you’re already a success and you’re just going to move to the next “thing.”

  6. robynmcintyre

    Laurie, you already know all the reasons that failing at something can be a good thing, but it’s hard to remember them when the hopes and dreams you attached to an idea seem to die along with it. Still, maybe those hopes and dreams can blend and become part of another idea, since they are usually bigger picture things above the more concrete blessings you wanted to share through the idea. I congratulate you for recognizing when it was time to let go and I’m glad you’re taking the time to care for yourself and grieve something that won’t see life the way you wanted it to.

  7. Rachael

    Don’t spend time beating on a brick wall, hoping to transform it into a door – Coco Chanel.

    Fall down 7 times, get up eight – Chinese proverb.

    Good luck Laurie! πŸ™‚

  8. Martin Snyder

    Two out of 10 people are no damn good, and there is nothing even a Platonically perfect HR could do about that.

    On GlitchPath? You have a core concept, so maybe it need not die all the way off. Sometimes a rebrand or a new partner can make all the difference. Maybe there is some consulting business tied into what you learned?

    You are a superior blogger by any standard, so you succeeded at something already πŸ˜‰

  9. Gerry Crispin

    After hours and hours of debate over what defined success during my 6 years of graduate education, I came to the realization that failure was a momentary thing- an outward investment to examine for the next time money, skill and time were called for. Success, however is not at all momentary. It is a state of being, not one of becoming. From that moment I’ve been successful and can loudly and deliciously examine my many failures as part of my life’s story. I’ve had no reason to doubt my point of view in the last 50 years. Then again, discussions during the late 60’s and early 70’s tended to be infused with a variety of enhancements.

  10. Christina

    I love this post. Continue to show up for yourself.

  11. Becki Leahy

    What does it even mean to be “good” at life? So much of our life is random luck. As far as I can tell — none of us actually chose to be born. And why would we want to be good at work when we hate it so much?!

    But really I didn’t feel compelled to post because of that…

    See…I’m a huge fan of YOU…I like to read your words and learn about what you are up to. I think about how these things might relate to my world. Sometimes they don’t directly relate but they always start me down a path that leads to something! I really just wanted to take a moment and say thanks for that.

    Thank you for everything you do and most importantly thank you for sharing!! I look forward to more…whenever that may be!

  12. Sarah

    LFR, This post has been on my mind since I read it. I don’t view anything you’ve done as a failure — after all, you’ve led the way for many of us fighting against disconnects in HR and bad leadership. You’ve succeeded in raising a bunch of money for respiratory diseases by climbing a shit-ton of stairs in amazing time. You’ve succeeded in making me interested in how cats are doing, even if in person they would be attacking my ability to breathe. You’ve succeeded in humanizing the bad people policies and bad direction-setters for HR and companies. You’ve succeeded in marathon training. You’re one of the people I think about when I think about finding an ethical center and sticking to it. You are a badass, and while GlitchPath may not be right for right now, you will take everything you learned from it to figure out which path to try next.

  13. Paul A Jones III

    Well Damn. Just read this. Speechless other than to say I admire you for realizing it is not GlitchPath’s time. You will find your next big thing (or not so big) but heal first. Breathe a little. Then venture forward. You are the best!

  14. Adam Kielich

    Always tough to make these kinds of honest decisions.

  15. karlaporter

    Sorry to hear, I was (like everyone) rooting for you from the bleachers. I wish you the best in your future endeavors whenever you figure out what that means, and I know that you know all too well that only sad sacks of potatoes allow titles, jobs, and projects to define them. We are so much more and the proof is that cats love us. It’s good you can openly talk about it. I wish I could openly discuss my current professional hell hole but at the moment, I cannot. However, maybe someday I’ll be able to do a video about it, half as good as yours, and you’ll watch and leave a comment that will make me smile =) Until then, here’s to virtual cocktails tonight at 7pm. XO