Dark Fuckup Nights

Portrait of Pepe standing at a microphone during his speech

Fuckup Nights is a platform where entrepreneurs meet to share stories of failures in a very informal way. It started in 2012 in Mexico City when a group of friends regularly met to share their catastrophes as entrepreneurs. The idea has grown a lot and Fuckup Nights became a global movement. Currently there are Fuckup Nights chapters in 318 cities in the world.

Last August 16 there was an especial edition of Fuckup Nights to celebrate the 6th anniversary of the Impact Hub Monterrey. The last speaker of the night was Pepe Macias, founder of Dialogue in the Dark Monterrey.

“I am the first Fuckup Night Monterrey speaker with disability. I felt proud, but I was disappointed at the same time. The number of blind persons who are entrepreneurs is equal to the number of entrepreneurial failures by blind persons. Of course the numbers are very poor. It is a pity that blind people in Mexico have very few opportunities to make entrepreneurial mistakes and learn from them. As I said in my talk, important failures mean 10 more times consequences when you have a disability since you regularly have less chances to learn and recover from mistakes. Despite that, I still believe entrepreneurship is the way to go for many blind persons in the real context in which companies are still so slow in the job inclusion of blind people.”

400 visitors attended the event. 3 speakers shared their stories of failure.

“The failure I shared was about disabling your organization. Physical and cognitive disabilities are superficial disabilities for me. The real disability is that situation which unables you to dream, hope and act. In this regard, indifference and laziness are true disabilities. But there are some others. I am blind since the age of 6. And as a blind child, I was educated to be as good and capable as any other sighted person. I tried to be as autonomous as possible in order not to depend on others’ help. But my failure has been not learning to be powerfully vulnerable, as stated by Brené Brown.”

Dialogue in the Dark was introduced to Monterrey, Mexico in 2006. It was a 2-years exhibition with more than 100,000 visitors attending. Pepe got his first job as a guide on that exhibition. Later in 2014 he started his own social venture by becoming a DiD partner in Monterrey.

Dialogue in the Dark Monterrey has been conducting workshops for companies for 5 years. They opened the DiD exhibition at Planetario Alfa from 2017 to 2019 and created 12 permanent jobs for blind persons and got 40,000 visitors. DiD Monterrey has been part of the Impact Hub Monterrey network.

“I am happy that DiD was invited to the 6th anniversary of the Impact Hub Monterrey. At the end of the talk many persons came to me and shared all nice words and nice memories about DiD in this city. The DiD brand is somehow positioned in Monterrey. In some ways DiD in Monterrey is perceived as a strong and consolidated organization. But we are not. And it was the key topic of my talk. I polluted my organization with my true disability: not being powerfully vulnerable. I have focused my organization on blind and low vision persons. And the number of sighted collaborators is incredibly low. I have focused my organization on being as good as capable as any other sighted organization and to be as autonomous as possible. DiD MTY can be a more efficient, creative and strong organization if it is supported by a network of sighted volunteers. There are many brilliant examples of social and charity organizations successfully supported by volunteers.”

The aim of the Fuckup Nights events is that speakers share messages and learnings with attendees who usually are entrepreneurs or want to become entrepreneurs. In this edition it was so especial to have a speaker with disability sharing learning with attendees with no disabilities.

“My learning is that our ventures and organizations are made of our dreams, hopes and aspirations. But quite often they are also made of our personal biases, defects and shadows. And to solve this, entrepreneurs must train ourselves to become self-aware and see our own shadows in our organizations, accept that and do something about it.”

We celebrate this first speaker with disability at Fuckup Nights Monterrey. And we hope to see more and more entrepreneurs with disability sharing their experiences in different forums.