Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Failed It! How to turn mistakes into ideas and other advice for successfully screwing up” as Want to Read:
Failed It! How to turn mistakes into ideas and other advice for successfully screwing up
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Failed It! How to turn mistakes into ideas and other advice for successfully screwing up

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  400 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
Paperback, 168 pages
Published 2016 by Phaidon
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
What an interesting book. I found myself laughing at some of the photos included. There are many fails and amateur photographs that are relatable but also inspiring, which is the entire point of the book.

Failed It! is a good motivator and will keep the creative flows going.
Dec 22, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zoals we op het werk tegen onze stagiaire zeggen: 'je moet fouten maken om te kunnen leren'. Zo ook Erik Kessels, die in dit boek een ode doet aan missen, falen, mislukken, vallen, spelen en alle mogelijke woorden om ditzelfde begrip aan te duiden, en dit in alle mogelijke creatieve contexten.
De achterflap is bewust foutief gedrukt: omgekeerd. Zo kan je het boek fout vastnemen. Op p5 staat de meest geweldige lapsus: loftuitingen. Laat ons vanaf nu vooral loftuitingen maken over missen. Hoera voo
Dec 11, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick read on happy accidents in art and photography. For me there weren't enough great examples or enough insights. The books big message is that mistakes and failures often lead to genius. I believe that. So for everyone I know out there reading this...I promise to make more of them.
Jabali Sawicki
Great quick read on creativity and failure. Full of wisdom and thoughtful photography. Will definitely go back to it like those Austin Kleon books...
Sarah Ellis
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a quick read with some interesting insights on creativity and imperfection. It made me laugh, but also made me think differently about the creative process. I only wish it was a little longer and more in depth. I feel like it just skimmed the surface and would have liked the author to have gone a little deeper into the subject matter.
Jul 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Hızlı okunan bir kitap. İçeriği ilham verici. Yorumunu bir ara yazarım herhalde ❤ ...more
Alexandria Bianca
I picked this book up thinking it was a motivational book. It was but on the contrary it happened to be a book on photography. But hey, it has some great insights that could be applied to not just art but life. It was fun, witty & brilliant. He spoke about living outside the norm and accepting you're failures & turning them around. He put me at ease in my thinking about perfection. The biggest thing I took from it is that there isn't a thing such as "perfection." Perfection was merely a ...more
A funny, inspiring and quick read that will instantly help you to feel better about your artistic work. Because who hasn't felt like a failure before? Kessels shows that great artwork wouldn't be possible without making mistakes and that perfection will mostly lead to boring art.
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, ensayos
Lo único malo es lo corto que se te hace leerlo. Un elogio al error como medio de creación novedosa.
Jun 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is less a review than it is a "spoiler" in that I'm going to share my favorite parts without really critiquing the structure of quality of the writing. But I do recommend having in on your shelf if you're a designer or any other human being who is required to come up with ideas as part of your occupation or because it's part of your native substance.

For newcomers to creative works or for the anally retentive perfectionist, yes, the cover is put on backwards on purpose.

Anyway, It's a quick
Fouad Kazan
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a ridiculously funny and inspiring small book. Even the front and back cover are switched with one another. Hence, if you have screwed up so much in your life, you will find this work comforting (unless you are narcissistic, have an over-inflated ego, and assume that every damn thing you do is a work of God). It shows us how you can simultaneously screw up and succeed at the same time making it excellent for entrepreneurs, immerging artists, etc… It mentions stories of popular business m ...more
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well this is rather strange book to read and it is actually supposed to be a strange book. It tells you that failure is ok, the beginning of something good or a possible new opportunity raising from the failure. Then you have a lots of photos which are either mistakenly taken or show you things that are surely down mistakenly done. It takes 20 minutes to read this book, you simply run through it in no time. But that is no it. This book is made by an artist creating a different kind of a book the ...more
Robin M Koppensteiner
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: advice
Very inspiring. Especially since recently I noticed that I wanted more stimulation for my brain.
This book talks about this: Finding stimulation in your and other's failures.

I read it within about an hour and started turning something shitty into something interesting right afterwards.

This book is a great example of curation turning into creation. And in the progress it doesn't only encourage, but, inevitably causes curation and creation.

A must have for pretty much anybody who enjoys creating, w
Danielle Carter
I had a hard time reading a book about failure from a man who is evidently very successful (although his argument is that all of his failures have led him to creative success). I also couldn't help but wonder how/if a woman would ever talk about failure in this manner, since I think women are a lot less able to get away with failures/imperfection. His observations and statements are vague and not very profound or practically helpful; however, I did really like that artwork that he included to pu ...more
Prudence (Marina Puente)
A quick light read, recommended to me by a creative. The book helps to unlock creativity and stop perfection seeking. I found Kessels’ take on confidence really interesting: confidence is overrated - when it comes to creativity, insecurity is essential.

However I was slightly underwhelmed at the examples given, I thought they would be more insightful and less product-focused.
Xenia Orkopoulou
διαβαζεται μεσα σε μια μέρα και αυτό που επαναλαμβάνει συνέχεια είναι ότι μέσα από τα λήθη μας ή τις αποτυχίες μας τις περιοσσότερες φορές αν το εξετάσουμε καλύτερα γενιέται μια επιτυχία. τίποτα το ιδιαίτερο, επιφανιακό.
Shufi H
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Finished it only in less than 1 hour during train commuting, what a fun book! It told us how imperfection or failure can be turned into ideas, inspirations and other unique form of creativity - somehow it reminds me of lomography or analog photography.
Jason Machinski
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is going on my recommended reading for my Visual Perception & Design course. The book really makes one think differently about creativity. Which is great for all those looking to be more creative. No spoilers here read the book to get the most out of it.
Rebecca Duncan
Mar 12, 2018 rated it liked it
A quick read with an overall message that’s dragged out a bit - look out for happy accidents, they are often the most memorable. The photo examples in here were great, but I would have loved to see more examples from other design disciplines considering Kessel’s background
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it! Failed is Q, quick and quirky focusing on the magic in mistakes!
I loved the idea of failures being so positive.
Great read for insecure people and artists (everyone).
“Insecurity is essential for creativity”
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the creativity focus here, really interesting ways to Purposely take something good and change it into what others consider a "failure" to find something new. Great way to change how you look at things.
Jan 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: miscellany
Ein feines kleines Buch über den Mut zum Experiment.

"Wenn Sie sich nicht mindestens einmal täglich wie ein Idiot fühlen, sollten Sie weniger arbeiten und mehr spielen. Dumme Fehler zwingen uns zu lernen, Fortschritte zu machen, Neues zu erfinden."
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant little book providing a boost of inspiration for everybody in the creative industry. I think however, it can make a great read for non-creatives as well. At core, it’s about embracing our failures and stopping to seek the unachievable perfection.
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a good book. Encouragement here and there to those who are losing it. But I cringe on most of the items inside it. 😖
Anna Azarenko
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good. Clever, with many samples of good, based on failure, art.
Mental Jacket
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In fact, you just might discover the imperfect perfection of the planned unplanned and the expected unexpected.
Alaa Alnuaimi
Just a number of nice insights.
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick read, some good ideas, fun photos. If you are stuck because of failure, this might give you a bit of inspiration.
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved the book! I'd mainly recommend it to those who're interested in the field of photography.
Few quotations and some home philosophy. Interesting photos off the internet. Not really recommended.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Nonfiction Deals

  • Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany
    $15.99 $3.99
  • The Monster of Florence
    $10.99 $2.99
  • The Westies: Inside New York's Irish Mob
    $9.99 $1.99
  • April 1865 (P.S.)
    $11.74 $1.99
  • Jesus Is ______: Find a New Way to Be Human
    $7.99 $0.99
  • Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search-and-Rescue Dog
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Lab 257
    $8.74 $1.99
  • How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Girl in the Woods: A Memoir
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Power of When: Discover Your Chronotype--and the Best Time to Eat Lunch, Ask for a Raise, Have Sex, Write a Novel, Take Your Meds, and More
    $14.99 $2.99
  • The Last Lecture
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived
    $12.74 $1.99
  • Not Tonight, Honey: Wait 'Til I'm A Size 6
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth's Past Mass Extinctions
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Feast: True Love in and out of the Kitchen
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Last of the Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten World War
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Vaccinated: One Man's Quest to Defeat the World's Deadliest Diseases
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology
    $12.99 $2.99
  • An Appetite For Wonder: The Making Of A Scientist
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience
    $27.99 $2.99
  • Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip-Confessions of a Cynical Waiter
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Dakota: A Spiritual Geography (Dakotas)
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Restless: Because You Were Made for More
    $7.49 $1.99
  • Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and The Dawn of the Modern Woman
    $10.24 $1.99
  • The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions
    $16.99 $2.99
  • Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After
    $13.99 $3.99
  • Man-Eater: The Life and Legend of an American Cannibal
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Pukka: The Pup After Merle
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Buddhist Boot Camp
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Flour: A Baker's Collection of Spectacular Recipes
    $21.99 $3.99
  • The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Van Gogh
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Woman's Worth
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Do the Work
    $4.99 $1.49
  • The Lost Tribe of Coney Island: Headhunters, Luna Park, and the Man Who Pulled Off the Spectacle of the Century
    $4.99 $1.99
  • I Suck at Girls
    $10.74 $1.99
  • The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women
    $14.99 $2.99
  • A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives
    $18.99 $1.99
  • In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Prose
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Journal of a Solitude
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Living by the Word: Essays
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Peace Is Every Breath: A Practice for Our Busy Lives
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller's Tragic Quest for Primitive Art
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now--As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long for It
    $7.24 $1.99
  • The World's Last Night: And Other Essays
    $7.99 $1.99
  • A. Lincoln
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Tracks: One Woman's Journey Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Hell's Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Life
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Seeing Further: The Story of Science and the Royal Society
    $13.24 $2.99
  • Grace, Not Perfection (with Bonus Content): Celebrating Simplicity, Embracing Joy
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Promise and the Dream: The Untold Story of Martin Luther King, Jr. And Robert F. Kennedy
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Through the Eyes of a Lion: Facing Impossible Pain, Finding Incredible Power
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Why We Run: A Natural History
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Edgar Allan Poe: The Fever Called Living
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple
    $12.99 $2.99
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »