Failed projects often become the first step to wonderful adventures.

Nearly a year ago, I decided to attend a presentations design course in London. To be sure I had a place, I enrolled with 9 months in advance.

Five months before, I thought I could take that opportunity to talk to experts in my research field, inclusive design. Since it was a 1-day course, I could stay two more days to do interviews the day before and the day after.

About two months before, I booked my hotel room and my flight. Some days after, I received an email where I was informed that the course had been canceled!

Interestingly, I didn’t mind not being able to do the course. I thought, “Great, one more day to do another interview”.

Over time, I realize that without my project of the presentations design course, it would never have occurred to me to travel to London “only” to interview experts in inclusive design (by the way, thank you very much for your kindness and for sharing with me your precious time).

It seems amazing how a failure can be the beginning of a wonderful and unexpected experience. Initially, I was tempted to think that it was the Destiny, but I’m a rational person so I tried to find a “scientific” explanation. I think I found it.

I call it the Tree of Projects.


Usually, we think of projects as something that starts from a point, develops and ends when we achieve our goal or when we fail (project A). However, from my point of view, projects are more like a line that grows as we move forward. As we go towards our goal, step by step, a series of branches appear and grow in parallel to the main line (project B).

These branches are new possibilities, new realities that appear only because we are advancing along a certain path. It’s like when we are walking around the city. As we walk along a street, new streets appear right and left. Only by taking the main street we will be able to take one of these other streets.

This is the reason why it really doesn’t matter if the original project fails. Thanks to B, project C becomes a real option. This is the explanation why my failed project resulted in a different and successful project.

Ultimately, each step creates a new situation that provides a new starting point. Perhaps my project didn’t finished and I’m now beginning a new adventure…