The Failure School: Teaching Filipinos that Failure is the Key to Success

Social - Corporate

Failure is in our blood. We need it in order to improve. Yet for many of us, the fear of failing is what keeps us from taking action on our ideas.

The Failure School came about from Phil Smithson’s inability to find a school that would provide his 3-year old kid skills such as introspection, handling failure, and of course design thinking, which is something Phil is very passionate about. (

The Failure School was designed for both the youth and adults alike. It strives to help people overcome the inevitable uncertainty and fear of failing through a one-month program for high school and college students. They have also designed a program for corporate employees and teams. A course is held every month, but have limited slots for each.

It’s a safe space, an ecosystem of learning, and a place for growth and improvement.


It was made to equip them with valuable Design Thinking and Lean Startup skills, among others. According to Phil, we make assumptions about things everyday, sometimes not even realizing that we did so.

The Failure School promotes a failure-first mindset, wherein we fail fast to validate these assumptions. It not only promotes failure as something that cannot be avoided but as something that should be welcomed, especially in order to improve.

Workshop Details

The Failure School’s first batch of classes for students is sold out, but another one beginning on July 15th is available for registration over on

The corporate workshop still has a few slots available for June 15th, which can also be registered for on their website.


“I love everything about your Failure School.” – Dr. Samuel West, Curator of Failure Museum

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