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Fail Safe

By Debbie Millman

Several years ago, Steve Heller asked me to contribute to a book titled Design Disasters: Great Designers, Fabulous Failure, and Lessons Learned. In thinking of the myriad failures I had experienced over the course of my life thus far, I decided to write about my biggest failure of all: my complete lack of belief in pursuing my original dreams.

The essay seemed to resonate with readers, and as I’ve learned more about what kept me from making better decisions, I have revised and updated the original several times. The effort resulted in a visual essay I created for my book Look Both Ways and in a commencement speech I gave at San Jose State University in 2013.

While both initiatives gave me the opportunity to refine my message, the audio and the visual were never synched. When Adobe invited me to share my thoughts on failure, I figured now was the time.

In this beautiful video, see the artwork and hear the voice of Debbie Millman as she relates how she stopped playing it safe.