The story of F*ckUp Nights started in 2012 with five friends down in Mexico City. After perhaps one-too-many alcoholic beverages, the group ranted: We’re tired of hearing stories of success. So they started sharing their stories of failure. The following week, they invited more friends to join in and share their stories of defeat. Soon, the concept grew into a worldwide phenomenon and became known as F*ckUp Nights.
Denver-based entrepreneur Lauren Butts felt the same way about these recurring narratives. As the founder of Lolo LLC (a social media consulting company) and a contract employee for Sprocket Communications, she’s experienced plenty of her own defeats. She was also sick of the success-based networking events and business panels that dominated the collective scene. She decided to bring the F*ckUp movement to Denver, a hub for young people and budding businesses.
When putting the inaugural event together, Butts reached out to Justin Cucci, the founder of Edible Beats and chef-owner of Linger, Root Down, Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox, and the fortcoming Vital Root and L5. Butts describes Cucci as fearless and transparent; if one of his restaurants was scheduled to open in two months but he needed two more years (ahem, like Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox) he’d tell you straight up.
And while Cucci’s restaurants have been big hits in Denver, he plans to regale the audience with a hilarious tale of failure that transpired 20 years ago—and ultimately led him to switch gears and get into the restaurant industry. As it turns out, when Cucci was about 25 years old, he owned his own high-end tie-dye shirt business and actually did quite well, even selling in stores like Macy’s. Cucci will bring some of his throwback tie-dye creations as well as the not-so-successful story behind them.
Following Cucci, Danielle “Kiwi” Schloffel of greeting card and trinket company Craft Boner and Joey Bullock, Aaron Ray, and Matt Fajohn of Legwork animation studio will take the stage to talk about their own epic fails. The evening should provide a refreshing—and relatable—antidote to the triumphant anecdotes that we’re so accustomed to.
Can’t make it this time? F*ckUp Nights will host events in Denver the third Thursday of each month. If you know someone with a story of failure, nominate him or her by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.