The Definition of Success


After reading yet another article alluding to the death of Google+, I’m left pondering the subjective definition of success.

Success : the accomplishment of one’s goals.

Based on that definition, then Google totally failed. I’m sure their aim was to supplant Facebook as the “time-wasting app of choice”, which they’ve certainly not done.

Success : a person or thing that is successful

There are active communities on Google+, with a significantly smaller signal-to-noise ratio compared to the Facebook equivalent. I’m sure the members of those communities will consider Google+ a success.

Rating your own success is also subjective. After nearly three years in my currently role, some would describe my achievements as considerable. By my own estimates, it feels like I’ve achieved very little. It is nice to be praised for work you are proud of, but very hard to accept praise for work that falls beneath the standards or productivity level you expect from yourself.

I’m lucky enough to go round the world giving people advice about how they should be using Oracle products, but the downside of this is you sometimes look at what you are doing at work and ask yourself, “What the hell would people think if they saw this shit?”

I always try to work on the basis I want things to be as simple and clear as possible, so that if I left the company the person that followed me would sit back and think, “Wow. The boy done good!” Unfortunately, a liberal dose of reality and questionable management decisions means you are often left polishing a turd!

As you’ve probably guessed, I’m on a bit of a downer at the moment. I know I’m pretty good at what I do and I get a kick out of the level of productivity I’m capable of, when I’m not being held back. The counter to that is I hate feeling ordinary, which is exactly how I feel today as I plod along at a snails pace, polishing that turd for all it’s worth. It’s totally an ego thing and I need to get over myself, but there it is…


Tim… (A decidedly ordinary person doing decidedly ordinary things in Birmingham)

Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

5 thoughts on “The Definition of Success”

  1. Whilst only you can decide if you are achieving enough in your role to match your own expectations I think you need to get a grip of yourself and look at the things you have done – if not in your role at present then in the wider oracle community. Oracle-base gets more hits a day than my blog and website together get in a month and you do a damned fine job at presenting.

    And remember, you will always be taller than me.

  2. Every job goes through these kind of cycles, something will come up to drag you out of the mire. As Martin already said look how much you’ve done… but i guess the toughest act to follow is yourself 🙂

    Great talk last night by the way, I’ve found with 12c also (and i thought i knew oracle pretty well) that at times it’s almost like starting again and you really have to force yourself to pick up the new stuff – once you are there you can see the point of it all but it’s going to be tough for the people who just want to carry on as they always have.

    We’ve started rollouts but only non-cdb’s – we don’t trust our supplier who does our live support to not f**k it up – maybe once 12.2 comes in they will be more up to speed…..

  3. Richard: Thanks for the feedback. 🙂

    I know what you mean about the support thing. I would be a little concerned about how “up to speed” other people are too!

    See you next time… 🙂



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