Bible, Main, Project Management
Comment 1

Failure is Guaranteed, or Don’t Ship Your Enemies Glitter

Someone, named Mathew Carpenter started promoting a new business Ship Your Enemies Glitter. I believe our new world economy is entrepreneurial. We need to start new things to survive and prosper, and Mr Carpenter started a new thing indeed.

Here’s the glitter story. The founder built a web site to promote his crazy idea:

We’re going to be pouring a tonne of glitter into an envelope with a folded up piece of paper. You know what’s going to happen when that special someone opens the envelope & pulls out the letter? The craft herpes will be released & will go everywhere. By Far the most effective and easiest prank ever … Click the buy button. Decide whose day you want to ruin & then enter their address.

Please note, there is a lot of swearing on that web site. Also note, the new business made money.

Ray Hennessey, a writer for Entrepreneur comments about this surprising new business:

You need to have a business behind your idea — as great as that idea may be — or you will fail … The founder of the website is reportedly asking customers to stop ordering because of huge demand. “Please stop buying this horrible glitter product — I’m sick of dealing with it.”

So the crazy idea worked, too well.

I have a strong interest in start ups, entrepreneurial project management. It doesn’t pay, so I make it a hobby. I believe the entire history of Christianity is a series of start ups. For example, Martin Luther nailed his theses to a cathedral door, and went on to change the world.

Some people in my church were concerned about care for their retired parents, so they started a new thing. It all started with a problem, their concern. The project grew to become Shepherd’s Care, a large charitable corporation with about 1,600 residents and many employees.

Starting something new is normal for a Christian. We are supposed to live without the fear that oppresses the rest of the world.

If you have an idea to start, I have some advice; success begins with a need. You must identify a need, or problem, or deficiency, and then work to meet the need. The world offers many problems to choose from.

Failure to build on this foundation will guarantee failure. That might explain the glitter project. It failed at a fundamental level, as the expert said.

Success is only a possibility, but sometimes failure is a sure thing.

I get called to start up meetings; what I know as ‘bless this mess’ conferences. Someone brings binders full of documents, and maybe some talkative friends. They tell me what they have done so far, and ask about the next steps. The worst is the wife who says “So when will this start making money? Because my husband needs a job.” Everyone I know skips over the early thinking and starts building. And then they call me. Projects have included a safety program for a construction company, a residence for troubled teens, and an ESL program for a church. There is so much to do.

My advice is always “build the foundation that you skipped over the first time.” The first motivation is negative, identify a need. A house must have a foundation.

Back to the glitter; it started with a web site, it made money, and it ended quickly. No foundation means no house.

The biggest project since the creation started with a carpenter named Jesus:

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.


  • Lead image: Maureen McLaughlin/Flickr

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