On serving the community and failing fast: By Addam Velasco

Posted on January 24th, 2017 by

On Sunday, our day consisted of two main parts. In the morning, we volunteered at Mary’s Place, which is a shelter for single-parent families. The most rewarding part of our experience in Seattle came from our day spent at Mary’s Place. Most of us had the opportunity to play with the “kiddos” who loved the attention, and others helped with necessary chores around the building. Then in the evening, we met with Gustie Chris Edelbrock ’09 and a couple of his peers from his University of Washington MBA night program. As a part of an insightful informal conversation, we asked a wide variety of questions about graduate school and about their specific career paths. One aspect I want to highlight from our conversation is the idea of becoming successful in any career path we choose, we must be willing to be vulnerable and tell others where we want to go without sounding entitled or pushy.








After our day spent all around the city, I started to reflect on what I had experienced, thinking about how our primary goal on this trip is to learn about innovation in Seattle. However, today was spent giving back to the community. Ironically, without us focusing on innovation for the day, I spent most of my day thinking about that very topic. When we have talked about innovation, we talked about how we need to either make new products or improve the ways that we do things now. However, the one thing dramatically missing from peoples’ mindsets about innovation is the concept of innovating how we live our lives. What I mean by this statement is that as humans we strive to keep improving our products and services to make lives easier and happier. However, we never focus on innovating the structures of our lives. We spend our early years in the school systems, then spend time figuring out what we want to do with our careers. Of course, this is a general statement, but it is possible to talk to many people who are half-way through their careers, and they do not know what they should do with their lives. To me, it does not make sense that we must spend half of our lives figuring out what we want to do with that other half. That is why I ask, what would happen if we dramatically reordered the way we live our lives? As humans, we fall into a structured way of living. We start by being kids and growing up slowly, then we get an education, we find a career, we get married, we have kids, and then we have grandchildren. And as we live our lives in a similar fashion to the generations before us, we forget that there can be innovation in the order and the ways in which we live our lives. I do not know how we would reorder the way we live our lives, but from what I have learned from successful innovation, we need to fail fast and learn from those failures.



Comments are closed.