Could This Be the Death of Fail? The Rise of SucceedBlog


SucceedBlog is an overnight SUCCEED. “It’s totally picking up steam,” says co-creator David Littlejohn, who launched the website yesterday afternoon. This morning, he and co-creator Jim Haas with “web ninja” Mark Neigh woke up to a staggering 20,000 hits. SucceedBlog is the counter-site to FailBlog.

As you can guess, instead of highlighting life’s failures by matching tragically embarrassing photographs with the word “Fail,” the site uses the word “SUCCEED” to celebrate moments of unparalleled human achievement. Like this one dude who is particularly talented at stacking Legos.

“Everybody wants to see ‘succeeds,’ everybody wants to see people succeed, our country succeed. It’s just a lot more positive,” Littlejohn explains. “It’s always funny — since the beginning of time, I imagine — to see someone kicked in the nuts, or fall down, or trip. You’re just going to laugh at that. There’s something a lot more inspiring in succeeding.”

To further elaborate on the difference between FailBlog and SucceedBlog, we must turn to the curious case of B.J. Cobbledick. Delivering a metaphorical nut kick, FailBlog fished out this poor woman’s yearbook photo, highlighting an iconic “Name Fail.” On SucceedBlog, however, we are enlightened by a “Spoon Hanging Succeed,” an image of a small, freckly faced boy who can hang 16 spoons on his face.

But there is one small overlap – FailBlog posts the occasional picture of a triumph, labeling it a “Win.” While Littlejohn is not accused of plagiarizing, he is caught in a battle of semantics. Specifically, the site has been met with backlash from those who believe SucceedBlog would make more sense as WinBlog.

“I think that’s totally wrong,” Littlejohn rebuts, “The opposite of win is lose; the opposite of fail is succeed. ‘Win’ takes away the whole fun awkwardness of just saying SUCCEED!”

In a post-“Yes We Can”-world, Litteljohn sees the site’s optimistic message as a reflection of the spirit of our times. Instead of celebrating “complete ignorance, absent mindedness, and stupidity,” we can rejoice in “people who have done freaking amazing, killer things.” Considering we are in the midst of a devastating recession, that must mean FailBlog expresses the reality of our times.

Nonetheless, Littlejohn remains hopeful, and details the key to SUCCEED. “This will probably sound cliche,” he warns, “but if you look at the SucceedBlog and what has made it up there, you’ll see a true succeed is when someone is super passionate about something and did something they love. What came out of that was a succeed.”

If your dream is to make golden retriever styled hair, then make golden retriever-styled hair. You will have succeeded.

“There’s this philosophy that people think about, how great art comes from pain. But if you really follow that through, they’re turning that pain into passion and their passion is what they love,” he says with the earnestness of a motivational speaker. “Their passion is what makes that novel or that great debut album a succeed. The only thing you can try to do in life if you want to make succeeds is to do that freaking one weird thing you want to do, and it’ll be a succeed.”

“I think it’s a fun little positive life anthem,” he adds. Littlejohn no longer works a 100 hour per week job in advertising. Two months ago, he “pulled the cord” and has been living his life on the sunny beach of Costa Rica.