Month: October 2011

The Benefits of Failure: J K Rowling’s Harvard commencement speech

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There is such pressure on us all to be a complete success in all we do. “Failure is not an option” is an oft-heard expression from parents and in business. However, sometimes failure is an intrinsically important part of success, as we can all learn so much from our mistakes. Author J K Rowling struggled enormously prior to the world-wide explosion of the Harry Potter series of books. Her manuscripts were rejected from many publishing houses prior to the eventual purchase by Bloomsbury.

When Rowling was younger her parents wanted her to study vocational subjects at university as they didn’t believe that her desire to become a writer could ever sustain her through her life. Fortunately she was headstrong and resolute in her decision to study English Literature, and steered her own course. We are very glad that she did. Here she gives a very refreshing and fascinating perspective on her success, delivered with humour and humility.

J K Rowling’s secret to success shows an unwavering self belief and a single-mindedness that never bowed under the strain of family pressure and repeated failure. What an inspiration!

Find out about other inspirational people who achieved amazing things against the odds at

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo

Tim Berners-Lee: weaving the World Wide Web

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The fact that you’re reading this very blog is testimony to Tim Berners-Lee, who kick-started the World Wide Web in 1989. He built the first ever web browser and server, and changed the world forever.

Berners-Lee was born and raised in London, England and received a first class honours degree in Physics at Queens College, Oxford in 1976. Whilst working for CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, he proposed a project which was to facilitate the sharing and updating of information among researchers. Although the separate components of the internet had already been invented, nobody had joined the dots sufficiently to create a World Wide Web. If it hadn’t been for the amazing ability of Berners-Lee to join those dots, the many web applications that we take for granted now may never have been invented. It’s hard to imagine a world without the World Wide Web. Because of Berners-Lee we don’t have to! What an amazing physicist and innovator. We at The Amazing People Club salute him!