Why Fail Whales Can Make Great Teams

Twitter and Foursquare are two easy examples that come to mind for services that have failed very publicly. They get pretty bad press from people because of service outages. I myself have been on the receiving end too, but as someone who’s been in the application development side of the house, I know that these experiences are invaluable. There’s nothing like a few million users screaming at you, that’s for sure!

The thing is, teams are human and make mistakes. It’s easy for a team to fracture or start pointing fingers at each other; it’s much harder for the team to hold together, either collectively or with the help of a good manager. And once you’ve been through one ordeal and you pull through successfully, that trust and mutual respect go a heck of a long way. So the next time you have your own fail whale with a team, take a deep breath, scramble to fix the problem and the perception, and then have a strong drink with everyone. You’ve earned it.

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