What are Fuckup Nights?

At so-called Fuckup Nights, people talk openly about their (business-)failures. Accordingly, Fuckup Nights represent an innovative way of dealing with failure. Fuckup Night enthusiasts see failure as an opportunity for learnings.

Fuckup colloquially means nothing other than “mishap” or “mistake”. The concept of the Fuckup Night aims to communicate openly about professional failures. Originating in Mexico in 2012, this event concept has spread all over the world and is enjoying great popularity. Legend says the idea was born, when five drunk friends stumbled across the question, why everyone is just talking about the obvious success stories rather than talking about obvious failures. So the aim of a Fuckup Night is to introduce a culture of failure. Failure – far from being shameful, is seen as a necessary experience that can sometimes be the key to success.

man with broken lag as a symbol for fuckup nights

The Fuckup as a chance to learn

Admitting to mistakes and talking openly about them – an acknowledgement of failure – is still unthinkable for many founders. But it is precisely an error-friendly culture that is essential for success and the ability to innovate. Fuckup Nights are intended to encourage the creation of a constructive error culture. Fuckup Nights offer the opportunity to share experiences and mistakes. This encourages the audience and teaches them that mistakes are there to be made, to learn from them.

When talking about failure is crucial

While some work environments still have no error culture at all, others have found talking about failure is absolutely crucial. In a 2016 Red Bulleting article about the Alaska Coast Guard, the term “just culture” was used. It describes a working environment where talking about your own failures is part of the job, and in this particular case, might save lives. This “just culture” is described as an environment, where there is no judgement, but rather an open examination of the causes that led to errors. So next time you think about fuckups as an admission of guilt, try to focus on the potential learnings and how others might profit from your mistakes.

“We don’t make mistakes – we just have happy accidents.” – Bob Ross

Fuckup Meetings / Events

Fuckup meetings can be found in major cities around the globe. At this (often large scale) events, fuckups are celebrated just like others celebrate success. Speakers share their failures in a relaxed environment, so others can laugh and learn, in order to get a positive attitude towards the little hiccups of live.

VIDEO: Fuckup Nights, Toronto