Weiden and Kennedy, popularly known for their award winning ads for Nike, has a motto that is emblazoned on the wall of their offices here in Portland.

Its says simply Fail Harder.

It reminds them to take risks during the creative process. It reminds them that playing it safe, on the rail, between the lines, will not get you the big win. It reminds them that everyone in that office should feel okay with their imperfections, and that without that safety no great creative idea can be formed.

The fact that the wall itself was created using somewhere over 100,000 push pins somehow drives the message home harder too.

They could have simply used a stencil and painted that sucker up in minutes right? Got on with bigger, better, more revenue-producing activities?

That’s all I could think of while I watched the video of its creation. I could hear the reaction of any other boss, in any other office.
Why don’t you just paint it?
Why don’t you just use the push pins for the word and leave background blank, it will take less time that way!
How many people, and how many hours is it going to take?
Get back to doing something productive!

There were clearly so many reasons NOT to make this wall. And so I am all the more happy it exists, and right here in the city I love.


Step out on the ledge. Step into the spotlight. Fall flat on your face once in a while. Great joy, great love, and great success are not born without taking some risk.

So I am challenging you to take a look at your life or your business and take a chance. FAIL HARDER.

See the wall and its creation here.