We f’d up. Nothing to get hung up about.

As some of you may have noticed there have been a few ‘errors’ happening around trivago recently. Most infamously our new campus banner. Was it an accident? some kind of joke? Well, a little from Column A, a little from Column B. But, unlike the banner, we’re not going to get hung up about it!

Why are we so scared of fucking up?

At trivago we don’t just encourage fuckups, we literally celebrate them.

You may have heard, life at trivago isn’t exactly conventional. We are made up of around 1300 over-enthusiastic entrepreneurs working together daily, striving for perfection, and constantly failing.

Internally, company-wide, we are built on trial and error. In the ‘backend’ we fail fast so we can succeed sooner. That way we can continue to give our users the best possible experience on our site.

Fuckup Fridays

We hold our own monthly ‘Fuckup Fridays’ at the office, where talents (and even our MDs!) come together over a few beers, to share their biggest failures and what they learned from them.

Our ‘Fuckup Fridays’ were inspired in part by ‘Fuckup Nights’; a global Meetup centered around sharing business failure stories. We were lucky enough to welcome Yannick Kwik, the CEO of Fuckup Nights to one of our trivago Academies earlier this year.

Our Core Values

If you’re familiar with trivago’s Core Values you’ll know that Fuckups play a big part in their make up. Mistakes are at the core of ‘Fanatic Learning’.

Two other values are ‘Entrepreneurial Passion’ and ‘Power of Proof’. These two provide us with a bit of an oxymoron. How can you be entrepreneurial whilst only acting on power of proof?

Well, here, it is encouraged to use that entrepreneurial spirit to find the proof, even if the outcome is “oh my god, I fucked up, that did not work at all!”

More learning = More knowledge

When we are so dedicated to improving every day, why is that we celebrate our failures so much?

It is intrinsically built into our culture to try, and to fail. We test every idea in order to increase our knowledge of any given subject, product, process or situation.

We believe the more knowledge you have, the easier it is to come to the most qualified decisions. Even if you have to get there the hard way.

Failure is a natural by-product of innovation. And innovation is what we live for. That is why, no idea, however ‘out-of-the-box’, is discarded.

If someone believes in something, then it should be tested, and analyzed. There are no bad ideas at trivago, only opportunities for learnings. Knowing first-hand that something failed gives you the confidence to back up your decisions, and the knowledge to help shape future decisions.

This open attitude sounds great, right? It does, as you’d imagine, lead to a lot of fuckups!

We own our mistakes, we celebrate our errors, because each fuckup leads to another insight.

You can’t expect go through life doing things right all the time. In order to find out what is the “right” decision you must first, perhaps more importantly, know what is wrong.

A fuckup doesn’t even always have to have a bad result either!

Look! No belt!

Some of trivago’s biggest successes have come from fuckups that, actually, turned out to be a pretty happy accident.

Did you know trivago guy (Tim William’s) ad success is in part down to the fact that he didn’t wear a belt? You can read more about that particular fuckup here.

Hopefully the banner that adorns our new campus can act as a beacon of failures, and encourage others to own their mistakes.

Let’s hope it has some kind of positive impact. Because we’re stuck with it for another 6 months…..

Have you fucked up at work? Tell us your biggest work f’up on Twitter and use the hashtag #talkfups and you could win a trip for two to Mallorca! Terms and conditions here.

Are you afraid of failure? Scared to own up to your mistakes? NO? Well you might just fit in well here at trivago!

Join our Talent Community and lets #talkfups

Lee Jones
Lee Jones

Lee Jones is a Conceptual Copywriter and Employer Branding Specialist at trivago.

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