HBO Max and supporting their teams

HBO Max:

I saw a tweet from HBO Max about a mistake that was made by one of their interns during an integration test and they managed to send out an empty email to their subscribers. Despite the fact that it was a mistake, they owned up to the mistake and ensured that they are showing the type of behaviour that they’re looking for within their company.

The response from HBO MAX showed very clearly that:

  • Interns are treated the same within the organi sation, regardless of where they are in seniority
  • Being open and honest with their customers
  • Understanding and embracing the agile mindset “Fail Fast, Learn quicker” mentality

From a mental health point of view, it’s really wonderful to see a company taking such a positive attitude towards their mistakes. On the Twitter thread, it was really nice to see so many professional people owning up their mistakes and showing that it really does happen to the best of us!

Fail Fast, Learn Quicker

In agile methodologies, we are encouraged to embrace failure as part of the core learning process and ensure that this is adhered to within our teams to be able to achieve the desired result, quicker. Failing is not just about the case of failing, but learning from this in an iterative manner and ensuring that you can find the best scenario for your product.

How can you embrace failure?

  • Learn from every mistake
    • When you make a mistake, it’s so important to learn from it, no matter how small that learning may be.
  • Make calculated risks / decisions
    • Before you make any decision, think about the risk associated and try to be proactive towards your risk rather than reactive. This can be around decisions that you make/ development ideas that you try etc.
  • Learn when to quit!
    • If you reach a point of development where it is clear that the outcome wont meet the need that you are aiming for, then do not be afraid to call it quits and stop
    • Learn the signs in the development when you realise that it’s time to quit and not just carry on. This could be seen through testing or certain code reviews… either way, learn what it looks like for your team


Learning to fail and embrace that failure is critical for success. If you, as a leader, can encourage your team to look at the learning opportunities available, then you can see what the potential may truly be. As an organisation, if you can behave like HBO Max and support your team when issues occur, it can create a truly innovative culture that can bring so many positives.

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