Eric Ries talks about validated learning – build, measure, learn – see lean startup.

We are using this approach as we launch into the next phase of Escape events.

But to me, there’s also something more poetic about that.

In the construction of our lives and our businesses and our relationships, we are going to make mistakes in judgment. We are going to stumble sometimes. Obviously we want to pursue excellence and minimise any stumbles, but at the same time, James Joyce said that ‘mistakes are the portals of discovery’ and I have to agree.

Some excerpts from the genuinely thoughtful responses that came through in my inbox today, inspired by Simon’s email.

Quoting the authors below by timestamp means that I can use this material without using their names – but you know who you are!


“I left the event feeling somewhat dismayed, I am keenly interested to attend an event in the future, if I can please be kept in the loop re ideas on location independence.”


“Totally envy you being able to just go out and start this conversation. Must be good to be working for an ‘agile’ startup like you are… things slightly different back here in the corporate world!”


“The location independence event seemed to start as if the only answer was to get into coding and developing.  This to me put my back up. This is definitely not the only way and I am seriously not interested in doing that.  However Leah was a good speaker and had an interesting story.  I do agree with the feedback you had about that the key insights were glossed over a bit but I found it interesting to see someone that had made the leap, done it in stages, had been doing it for a while and was making a living from it – key points for me. So it started off badly but ended up being better.”


“Whilst we were able to relate to some aspect’s of Lea’s life (e.g. previous career, travel bug, etc.) others were not necessarily that relevant for us (e.g. heavy focus on social media, etc). Whilst I realise the Internet is a key tool for someone seeking location independence I would have found it more useful to hear from a few different people who used different approaches in setting up their business, rather than many life experiences of only one person. As Simon mentioned in his email it would also have been helpful to spend a bit more time on “practical tips” of location independence, specially those relating to the initial “start-up phase”. We would both really like to attend another event if possible.”


“Just thought I’d offer an alternative view – I actually thought it was one of the best events I’d been too and I got absolutely loads of useful info and tips out of it. I liked the informal style. So yes, perhaps whilst it could have been more structured, I personally found it quite easy to note down the 6 ‘top tips’.”


“I very much enjoyed the event and thought it was worthwhile and appreciated time to share experiences with others. Simon may raise a valid point which I would share in that learning about a variety of different experiences and that of others in the room would have been welcomed, but otherwise I felt it was well conducted.”


Whilst it was inspiring, I didn’t feel it was as practical as it could have been.”


“As rightly pointed out, we were looking to a more structured approach on how to make things happen rather than having a story.”


All of these are really useful guidance as I make decisions designing upcoming events.

Esc has always been about helping people break out of the things we think and do not say‘.

Thanks to Simon for being brave enough to email me in the first place and say something that others were also thinking.

Watch this space for some new and improved events!

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