Being a 70’s kid, I did not have the privilege of witnessing the Apollo 11 mission. However, I did not miss out on the Space Shuttle missions.
Each time I witness these take off’s I’m in awe, not just at the event itself but the creation, the many people who make it a possibility. All that hard work. When the mission is a success, there’s such tremendous joy and celebration but when a rocket fails – the disappointment is clearly evident.
Watching Antares go down in a fiery explosion, I felt its loss. One can only imagine how someone who’s been working on the rocket for extended periods would feel.
As founders of small businesses, failed launches should come as no surprise. It’s part of the package. We can only be thankful, as well as hopeful, that most of our losses aren’t as publicized. Rocket launching is an unforgiving business. Thankfully for us, few of our launches are that destructive. Most times, our failures are easier to recover from.
However, like the Antares rocket, that doesn’t mean we don’t feel the loss deeply. It’s OK to mourn the loss of months, sometimes years of hard work.
Despite that, we must review and move forward. In the rocket business, what amazes me is how quickly everyone gets back to work. I’m sure keeping their jobs is a big motivation but aside from that, there’s a spirit of “let’s see where we went wrong and fix this once and for all”. That’s why we still have rockets.
So what launch failures are you mourning over today? If it helps, remember the wins. Antares had 4 successful launches before the disaster. Surely not everything about the failure is to be tossed. Do your post-mortem. Your customers expect and do look forward to a bigger, better return. You are ahead now that you know what not to repeat. Coming back stronger can do wonders for your brand too. For now, it’s time to pick up the pieces.