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The fear of failure

We all fear failure. We do not want to fail and we feel our self-image deflating like a punctured balloon in front of our peers when we fail. We feel uncomfortable, we do not appreciate failure. But what if we instead would appreciate failure? What if we would embrace it?

fear of failure

I believe we should appreciate people who aren’t afraid to fail, but know that they will fail and learn from the experience, maybe even share it with their peers. There is a new trend in leadership, where the leaders like Supercell, embrace failure. They want their employees to fail, but they also want their employees to learn from the experience. Failing shouldn’t be glorified, but it shouldn’t be feared either. We all fail at one time or another, it’s the people that pick themselves up quickly and learn from their failure that we should appreciate and listen to.

Some would argue, that this equals to listening to your elders. However, in technology for example, we are at times walking paths that are untraveled. This puts a tiny dent on experience, it loses its value to an extent. Similar experiences might have value though and we must be able to pick and choose from the advice of our elders and apply the right advice to the right circumstance.

Starting a Bug Bounty program can be intimidating and it has a lot to do with fear. We fear that we will get a massive amount of reports in and have, as such, failed horribly. This in turn, would lead to us having to pay out massive amounts of bounties to the hackers, deflating our budget.

While it could be the case, it mostly probably isn’t. The most common reason for not joining a Bug Bounty program is fear. However, if your leaders embrace fear and failure, there is a lot to be gained eg. better security for your products and services, marketing value. In addition it can also bring you closer as a team and enable you to work better together in the future.

The most valuable thing you can get from a Bug Bounty program is the lessons you will learn from the bugs or failures that are found. They will help you manage your failures by giving valuable lessons on how to code/admin in the future. Do not fear the hackers, most of them aren’t brutal, they are quite gentle and cooperative when it comes to reporting bugs.

We feared, we failed, we payed, but we are now better because of it.

bug statistics

Now go out there and fail!

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Joakim Taurén

Joakim Taurén
Information Security Manager
Visma Enterprise Oy