I attended a Fuckup night event, branded Fun Dubai, because reasons. The turn out was amazing, easily 200 people were in attendance. It was the 28th Volume or event for the Dubai chapter and I did a cursory look into Washington DC, there were about 8 events with the last one sometime in 2018. I checked the Toronto chapter and they're on iteration 26. I'll relay the significance of that in a minute.
But first, so what's Fuckup nights? In a nutshell, a bunch of friends in Mexico City were tired of hearing success stories that skip the gore and highlight the glory. So they put together biweekly Fuckup nights where three speakers shared their biggest failures as honestly and as painfully possible, it's now in 300 cities.
So why the numbers above? Considering it's a purely volunteer run event, it makes for great marketing because there's nothing for you to do outside of finding people vulnerable enough to share the lessons they learned from their failure, and it allows you to foster more human connections in a way that can be cathartic.
Think about major media, you mostly hear bad news, or horrifying tragedies except when it's related to entrepreneurship and startups, where you'll mostly hear about IPOs, acquisitions, and to be fair, once in a while sensational burnouts. None of which help anyone who is starting out and looking for advice, mentors, market validation or customers.
DC is supposed to be pushing entrepreneurship and there not being a community that took up a mantle for something like this, that connects so deeply with entrepreneurs, especially the ones that appreciate how lonely the struggle is to bring something into being, is very telling of DC and it's start-up ecosystem. Toronto is being touted as Silicon Valley North, so it's heartning to see the numbers match the sentiment.
Clearly, there's nothing scientific or studied about my hypothesis, but I think it gets to the root of something people are becoming more aware of. That we are unfulfilled in our jobs, and I don't agree with the assessment that they're bullshit jobs, but there is an element of a majority of jobs being similar to the one on the TV show Lost, where numbers had to be entered at specific intervals or the world would 'supposedly' end.
In most of our work realities, there are cubicles of people, who all have their own numbers to punch in, and all equally adamant that their version is the most important task to complete. The choas in our workplaces create discomfort, unhealthy tension, and foster a culture of sabotage through indifference.
So these 200 people in Dubai, I think are an indication of what people are interested in, and that's an exit into a life where they have control, but they're also aware that it will be painful, and are looking to feel what it'd be like if maybe, the pain is worth has more value than the pain of their 9 to 7 life.