On April 5th we celebrated the biggest missteps of Hubert Bruls and Han van Krieken during the 7th edition of FuckUp Night!
“Blunders are part of life.”
Joost Broeren (the host)
This was the message given by Joost Broeren, the host of the FuckUp Night. Mistakes are needed in order to become successful. Current society puts an incredible pressure on adolescents to perform. Both society and the individual create a situation in which everyone wants to show they’re perfect, something that is impossible to achieve. What people usually forget is that the basis of success is actually making mistakes. Everyone makes a mistake at some point during their career, even highly motivated people like successful entrepreneurs and highly rated directors.
“I wish everyone their fuck ups. Enjoy and learn from it.”
Judith van Dam (HomEvap)
Judith van Dam, CEO of HomEvap, shared how she deals with fuck ups. Her company specializes in energy-efficient humidifiers and coolers for the housing market. She came across numerous setbacks that she had to overcome. One of them in particular made her feel like she was hit by a train: production had to stop because the CE certification was not valid. According to Judith, such setbacks are not fun at all, “but you fall, get up and keep going”. Thanks to her mindset she overcame the problem with the CE certification and production was running again within a month.
“A blunder in timemanagement, although the term did not exist back then.”
Hubert Bruls (Mayor of Nijmegen)
Hubert Bruls, the Mayor of Nijmegen, talked about “a blunder of epical proportions” during the night. For his political science studies he had to hand in his doctoral thesis in September 1990. However, he kept delaying writing it since “he is no writer”. Because of this he ran out of time for his doctoral thesis. What did he learn from this? Bruls says it is best to ask for help when you see that things are going wrong.
“It is very difficult to start a business when distracted.”
Jorg Rijkschroeff (Sit & Heat)
When starting his business Sit & Heat, Jorg Rijkschroeff was busy with numerous passions such as breakdance classes and organising parties. These passions were however distractions from starting his own business. Even though distractions can be nice because they can generate new ideas and opportunities, it is very difficult to have multiple ambitions. You need to focus on one. Besides this lesson he also learned that you cannot always control everything. Indeed, because of corona Rijkschroeff encountered a setback. His company sells energy-efficient heat cushions to cafés, among other clients. Sadly during the beginning of the Covid outbreak the cafés did not have it easy which made it difficult for Rijkschroeff to sell his product. Thankfully his parents were able to help him financially back then.
“A colleague later told me that my story helped him avoid the same mistake.”
Han van Krieken (Radboud University’s Rector Magnificus)
Some blunders can have an enormous impact. This was the case for Han van Krieken. Before working as the Rector Magnificus at the Radboud University he was a pathologist at the hospital. One day he had to diagnose a biopsy from a patient. He thought it was acute leukemia. The patient was rushed into chemotherapy to treat this disease. To the shock of van Krieken the patient did not survive. This was because the patient had a tumor which needed surgery instead of chemotherapy. He misdiagnosed the patient. “The patient felt especially bad for us. She told us: ‘I hope you do something about it so others don’t make the same mistake’.”, says van Krieken. Nowadays doctors in his field are more open about their misdiagnoses which prevents the same mistakes from happening again.
Dutch text written by SAMbyHAN and translated by Mercator Launch into English.