• The book in which Seelig introduces the failure resume is the most excellent What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 (Buy it at Amazon,, or IndieBound)
  • She also two other great books, both on creativity: InsightOut: Get Ideas Out of Your Head and Into the World (Buy it at Amazon,, or IndieBound) and inGenius: A Crash Course in Creativity (Buy it at Amazon,, or IndieBound).
  • You can find out more about Seelig on her site and by listening to her Innovation Lab podcast.


28 Responses to “Pinkcast 1.12: Why you should write a failure resume.”

  1. The hits just keep on coming — that was fun, not only for the advice, but also for the interaction between you two. This idea seems like a supplement to mindfulness practice. After months of wearing a FitBit, I never lost weight until I triangulated my workouts with my scale with my food diary app. Writing down what was actually eating (a failure resume more often than not, haha) gave me a reference point to compare to the results I tallied every week with the activity report and the number on the scale. Cause and effect. I’m thinking this approach might help with failures both big and small in other areas of life. Thank you Tina and Dan!

  2. Barry says:

    Of all the things I loved about that the one that I think will stick with me is, “Failure is data.”

    Another great Pinkcast.

    Thanks Daniel!

  3. Bruce Hirshfield says:

    Great advice. Thanks Dan and Tina. This reminds me of a practice I started very early in my career and still do today, over 30 years later. After every meeting, I take a few moments and review 3 key questions: What did I do right? What did I do wrong? What could I have done differently. And it’s the third one that often offers the best insight. Reviewing what I could have done differently opens up how things may have gone – either favorably or detrimentally. This is especially important when pre-meeting preparation left me with a few choices of how I may handle certain meeting events, and reviewing it afterwards helps sharpen my feet-think (i.e., thinking on my feet).

  4. Sarah says:

    Excllent advice – thanks!

  5. Lisa Reinhart says:

    Love. It. This has got to one of my favorite Pinkcasts, Dan!

    The information is fresh, practical, and useful. I am familiar with Tina Seelig because she has been mentioned by other authors, and this two minute introduction to her was an absolute delight. Looking forward to writing my failure resume, pondering the lessons that were learned, and then checking out other concepts in her books.

  6. Amy Carney says:

    I love this concept! I’m going to introduce this to my teens as I think this is a great way for them to learn to embrace failure as a welcomed part of life. Kids are so afraid to fail these days that I think this is a great, positive way to start looking at this necessary trait. Wouldn’t that be amazing if all families started doing failure resumes? Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Bill Denyer says:

    Simple, yet powerful. Thanks!

  8. Tibocut says:


  9. Lev Karasin says:

    Great advice, I do this not just for failures but for successes too!, Keep a daily learning journal.

  10. Cintia says:

    I love the Pinkcasts! Short and sweet. Dan Pink, you’re a gem!
    Great advice from Tina! It makes total sense! Thank you guys!

  11. I always taught my students that “the only people who don’t make mistakes are people who don’t do anything!”

    Dr. Seelig has taken this idea a step further by recommending a way of remembering the mistakes we don’t want to repeat. A latent benefit is that we don’t dazzle ourselves by reflecting only on our stellar achievements. 😀

  12. Rita says:

    Just letting it all be good call and response Is music to my ears! Making blues my favorite colors again. Genius.

  13. Have done this for years thanks to law enforcement and military version of it – “Debriefing.” What did we do wrong and what did we learn from it? Excellent concept to bring to business and the resume!

    Jack Goldenberg, who launched the McDonald’s Happy Meal, Cabbage Patch Doll and dozens of other Billion Dollar products, strongly advises students to do the same – embrace failure! He will be speaking (FREE to the public) at the University of Virginia on Nov. 10th about the top 10 ways to successfully fail… Excellent topic all around!

  14. Marco Gutierrez says:

    Love the idea of forcing reflection and documentation of lessons and comment that if you don’t do that, and mine it, then failures are just lists of regrets. These Pinkcasts are great.

  15. Ahmed says:

    Great pinkcast, thanks to the best Daniel Pink & all.

  16. William says:

    (My resume of accomplishments suddenly grew awfully short!) Great advice, Pinkman!

  17. Cathy Salit says:

    Love this! Thank you Dan and Tina!

  18. Sandra Falconi says:

    Oh boy, where to start?

  19. Joseph Dubé says:

    “Failure is just data” = classic.

    My fav thing to say is that “you simply get results”

    Looking forward to the next one. Thanks Daniel and Co.!


  20. A question from the viewpoint of a UK listener. Professor Seelig says to write down your screwups each day – failures in personal, work, academic – and what you learned from them.

    Professor Seeling seems to be a well-mannered person and obviously quick (she caught your fluff with her name) – so my question is – Is ‘screwup’ a word that in the US can be used in any company – or is is just a little near the edge towards risqué language?

    • Dave Branicar says:

      The word “screwup” is definitely slang in the US, but I don’t think many people today would consider it borderline poor taste. It’s a word my mother would use, and she used to say “sugar” instead of “sh#t.”

  21. Smart! I’m going to open an Evernote note right now!

  22. Walter Akana says:

    I love this idea! But will I actually do it? Probably not. Why? For me it’s the recovery that matters, and where I put my focus! I will check out Tina’s book, though!

  23. Fausto says:

    Fantastic piece of advice!

  24. Darren Coates says:

    I love that they are short and little gems.

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