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Guest Lecture - Pablo David Cohn

Jennifer Piarowski

"I have not failed - I've just found 10,000 ways that didn't work."

This is the Thomas Edison quote that Pablo Cohn began his presentation with. The quote related to his core message. There are many failures in life. The more failures that one has leads to more and more refined solutions and ideas.

Pablo began with an interest in science, worked his way through college physics and computer science, and went to gradate school for computer science. When he completed his education, Pablo began to apply for teaching positions at colleges. He brought in the very full folder of rejection letters.

Pablo told the class that failure is a way of life. There are four rules to follow when you follow this vein of living:

  1. Plan for failure
  2. Fail quickly
  3. Learn from failure
  4. Iterate as necessary

He then went through and explained what each step really meant.

Pablo explained what Google Labs is. I had never heard of the Google application before. It is a place where people can work together on rough ideas; a place where one can experiment free from judgement.


  1. What would you deem your worst failure?
  2. What did you learn from that failure?
  3. Have there been any failures that you wish you hadn't have had to go through; failures that were difficult to extract something positive from?

Future Work:

Pablo can rule the world with Google!

  1. Google should have a student week, where they bring in interested students to experience Google and have a chance to sit in on one of the collaboration meetings that Pablo mentioned.
  2. Google should hold scholarship opportunity competitions.
  3. Google should have a documentary, "Day in the life of a Googler" and follow one of the employees through a month of work.