Bravery In Government

In the movie John Wick, the main character has a Latin saying tattooed on his back.

Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat – Fortune favours the brave.

So where does that apply in the IT world?  Everywhere.

If people weren’t brave we never would have had Google, Apple, Yahoo, SalesForce, Azure, Amazon, Facebook, Pixar, Uber, AirBnB, Spotify, etc.  These companies were not formed, nor were they run by people who “played it safe”.  They were run by visionaries.  People who saw a niche that wasn’t being filled and then filled it.  People who took a risk, who were braver than those around them.  This isn’t to say that there aren’t a lot of failures.  Companies like,,, AOL, GeoCities, etc.  There are successes and there are failures.  The objective isn’t to succeed all the time, it is to fail quickly and cheaply, repeatedly if necessary, and then succeed.

Within the government, however, failure is considered a bad thing and that failing is not an option.  That puts a damper on those that want to be brave.  Oh, you can be brave, but within this limited scope.  Instead of a black keyboard for your Surface Pro you can go Teal or, gasp, Red.  When faced with a problem sometimes the bravest thing to do is start fresh, abandon what you have done and start again.  You need support, however, you need those who pay the bills to understand where you’re coming from, where you want to go and what it will take to get there.  You need to be a visionary.  You need to sell people on your vision, on what you believe can be achieved by starting over.  You need some bravery.  And that bravery needs to be contagious.

Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat

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