Jay Miller - circus scrum master

I took Patrick to Jay Miller's circus last Sunday. We absolutely loved it. A thought struck me while I was watching - a circus is lot like a high-productivity software team - a group of highly expert, highly professional, highly motivated individuals, with a variety of different talents, coming together for a specific purpose. Hours and hours of deliberate practice behind the scenes. Clowns providing plenty of fun. A ring mistress lightly controlling the whole show. Out of sight back-room staff doing all the lighting, sound, and fake smoke wizardry...
My best moment of the whole show was a failure. Henrik (not Kniberg) the extreme juggler bounced balls off the ground rather than throwing them up into the air. It was just amazing. A complete blur of motion. Then he tried some extra balls. And then some more. And then he dropped two. He turned to the audience with his arms out as if to say "this is hard you know". And the audience gave a big cheer. It was a great failure. If you want to do something spectacular you have to be prepared to fail.


  1. I went to a (diferent) circus a couple of weeks ago and had exactly the same experience with the juggler.

  2. oooh spooky. A cynic might say it was part of the act. Didn't feel that way to me though.