TDT members helped out at the first ever TEDx Tampa Bay event held at the Straz Performing Arts Center on Friday. There were lots of great presentations. The one by Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, which he delivered via Skype after becoming trapped in Washington DC’s Snowmaggeden and unable to make the event in person, was very apropos. He titled it “Failure,” and it spoke to the heart of what TDT and many other FTC teams experience far more than they’d like to!
But Mr. Wales spoke to the value of failure, the unavoidability of failure and to the importance of facing failure down and moving past it. Among his shared “Lessons Learned”, adapted to our purposes as a FIRST team:
- Fail Faster
- Don’t tie your ego to a particular design, programming or strategy idea
- Real engineers (programmers, scientists, designers, builders, etc.) fail
- And fail
- And fail
- Enjoy yourself along the way
- And in the end, you’ll succeed!
The last two points are unchanged, and completely applicable across the board.
Dr. Paul Schnitzler, a USF Engineering Management professor, spoke to the value of overcoming fear and anxiety in completing tasks and projects, by helping people – team members – actually be part and parcel of the process, giving them ownership over the end result. Fear and anxiety, he suggested, is the invisible barrier to sucess.
Information technologist turned pizza expert and restaurant entrepeneur, Peter Taylor, spoke to the heart of loving what you do, and doing it to the best of your ability, and pouring yourself heart and soul into your passion, whatever it may be.
And Creativity Consultant Diego Uribe, of Idemax, spoke to the importance of balancing convergent and divergent thinking to achieve sustainable innovation.
All in all, it was a remarkable opportunity for TDT students to hear a diversity of thought and opinion and consider how some of it may apply in their lives individually, and as a team.
We’re very grateful to have been part of this wonderful event!