Cheers to Failing and Bold Accomplishments Ahead



A group of engineers raise a toast to the success their achievement

Congratulations! You made it to 2021. The year we leave behind was full of heartbreak and extraordinary challenges, but what about the medical, scientific, technological, and cultural milestones we achieved? We’re in awe of what you’ve been able to accomplish together in engineering. And we can’t wait to reach even greater victories and life-giving outcomes made possible by the many of you who choose to Engineer Ambitiously every day to make humanity better for everyone.  

Our hope is that by now you’ve had a chance to celebrate and commiserate 2020 as we have. This time of year always reminds us of the story of champagne. I don’t know about you, but the experience of opening a chilled champagne bottle from a cold fridge never gets old. Sometimes the anticipation of the “pop” rises faster than the bubbles within. 

As you start this year, be reminded that sometimes the best things in life are not always planned.

Think of the rising bubbles as layers of failure coming together to make the perfect sip of success. Such success was far beyond even Dom Pierre Pérignon’s wildest dreams.

We now know that the champagne bubbles we enjoy so much were originally the result of a mistake. Nearly a millennium ago, champagne was considered a result of failed winemaking and terrible timing. Let’s take a closer look at what the accidental invention of champagne bubbles can teach us about the bold inventions that can spring from failure. 

As Smithsonian Magazine’s Marina Koren shares, with fickle fall temperature changes halting the fermentation process of wine, when spring arrived, the warmer temperatures caused the spirits to begin fermenting again. This series of unintentional coincidences in the 1400s produced an excess amount of carbon dioxide, thus giving champagne its fizzy quality today. 

With innovation moving at a much quicker pace than was possible in Dom Pérignon’s era, have you thought about revisiting your failed projects to see if they have the makings to spark new, bold successes when combined with diverse perspectives? 

As you start this year, be reminded that sometimes the best things in life are not always planned. Accidents and yes, even complete failures can inspire new opportunities to build even greater changes for everyone to achieve bigger, bolder things together. As you finish toasting with a glass of champagne, let’s not let the New Year’s spark fizzle.

We’re excited to bring you more of the stories that showcase how engineering feats are improving our world and what happens when failure yields success. Throughout this year, we plan to share more inspirational stories about the passionate people who Engineer Ambitiously to make the world a better place. 

Look for future stories that define today’s engineers, their bold failures, and their brilliant achievements. We can’t wait to feature more perspectives from those who inspire us the most—you! Cheers to the new possibilities that failure creates.