South Korean company SK Hynix seeks innovation through celebrating failure

by KnowingKorea

South Korean semiconductor company SK Hynix recently held a FailCon, or Failure Conference, where four employees stood in front of their co-workers and shared tales of their biggest failures, and how they later overcame them. In most companies, failure is met with reproach or simply hidden from view. FailCons, on the other hand, began in Silicon Valley back in 2009 with the goal of helping startup founders prepare for failures and how to move past them and grow from the experience. SK Hynix is the first big company from a leading conglomerate in Korea to host a FailCon so publicly.

The grand prize for the person who the audience voted as having the most meaningful failure was 3 million won (~$2,775), with another prize for Excellence, and finally two participation prizes for the remaining speakers. Despite the bitter nature of their presentations, the atmosphere was warm and full of applause and bright smiles.

In a speech at the event, Vice Chairman Park Seong-wook, stated “in order to develop more innovative semiconductor technology, solving problems through collective intelligence is key”. The company has decided they will hold a FailCon event annually, and compile a database of failures for the purposes of aiding in research and development.