Calix Huang
← BackFailures

Fuel to the fire.

Sep 20 2020 in #journal

Last updated on: May 20, 2022

Failure sucks. But at the same time, it gives good context to where you've been and where you may go in the future. It teaches us about ourselves, allows us to reflect, and if you take it the right way, it can give you hope for the future.

I like to put my failures out on display because I don't like to give off the vibe that I never fail and discourage others. I'm a normal human being just like everyone else, and I've faced failure and rejection just as much as many others.

NOTE: This "failure resume" is inspired by Katherine Huang (we're not related).


  • More to come...
  • Rejected from Google CSSI
  • Dealt (and still dealing with) longer-term burnout
  • Rejected from 21 colleges out of 28 applications - similar post
  • Had internship offer rescinded after 4 hours due to age issues


  • Rejected from my dream school: Stanford
  • Attempted to build 5 projects with failed outcomes
  • Rejected from the Coca-Cola scholarship
  • Rejected (+ deferred) from the Delta Fellowship
  • Rejected from the Maker Fellowship
  • Rejected from the Bessemer Fellowship
  • Rejected from zFellows after an interview
  • Rejected from YC S21 batch without an interview
  • Rejected from a large batch of startups (Notion, Quizlet, etc.) for a variety of roles
  • Rejected from a reputable, unnamed startup after talking with them for 3 weeks
  • Lost $200 trying to start a domain reselling business


  • Rejected from MLH Fellowship and CodeDay Labs
  • Started 1Academy with my co-founder, and ended up failing to meet product-market fit, causing us to discontinue the idea
  • Recruited people into a previous initiative that later stabbed me in the back
  • Applied to 170+ internships, got rejected/ghosted by ~150, and got rejected by 6 after the first round
  • Had to quit 3 internships due to time commitments and burnout
  • Rejected from multiple officer positions I applied and interviewed for
  • Struggled with interval burnout from intense work
  • Had to drop out of Google Code-in 2019 & LAHacks Virtual 2020
  • Failed at organizing my first online event


  • Founded my first team within a nonprofit and failed to lead it
  • Founded, maintained, and ultimately failed my first attempt at a high-school run nonprofit
  • Worked really hard to get an IT internship and failed
  • Failed to place Top 10 in the AWS Summit Deepracing competition 2019 (placed #19)
  • Failed to complete a take-home exercise from an internship employer and was rejected as a candidate
  • Failed to distribute my projects and grow a userbase
  • Faced loneliness throughout the year due to lack of social interaction and social skills
  • Had a short-term identity crisis