The Cathartic Power of Epic Failure - Jon Kolko

In Chapter 14 of 17 in his 2011 Capture Your Flag interview with host Erik Michielsen, designer and educator Jon Kolko shares how failure has been fundamental to advancing and refining his career. Kolko notes how the greatest moments in his professional life have come after epic failures. For example, after being part of a failed startup, Kolko waits tables at a restaurant, where he decides to apply to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) to teach. Kolko is the executive director of design strategy at venture accelerator, Thinktiv ( He is the founder and director of the Austin School for Design ( Previously, he worked at frog design and was a professor of Interactive and Industrial Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). He has authored multiple books on design. Kolko earned his Masters in Human Computer Interaction (MHI) and BFA in Design from Carnegie Mellon University.