Anthony DeThomas, Ohio State ’14, published his first children’s book, My Friend, Failure, which tells the story of a boy who sets out to become the first kid to land on the moon. In the book, the boy stumbles at his first attempt, meeting failure face-to-face. He then makes the choice to become failure’s friend. As the boy and his new friend work together on a second try to reach the moon, the boy learns one of the most valuable lessons a child can learn: the power of embracing failure with a growth mindset.
The book was inspired by various aspects of Anthony’s life experiences, including his effort to become his chapter’s (Ohio Zeta) first Iron Phi, and his experience founding a healthy desserts startup through a competitive incubator program at Georgetown University. While his company was unsuccessful, Anthony now applies the entrepreneurial lessons he learned to helping large companies develop new products and services as an innovation consultant with Peer Insight.
Prior to creating My Friend, Failure, Anthony graduated from Ohio State University in 2014 with a BA in English, and moved to Washington, D.C., where he became a speech writer and policy analyst for multiple members of Congress. After his time on Capitol Hill, Anthony completed an MS in Biotechnology program at Georgetown University. During his studies at Georgetown, Anthony also tackled challenges like crafting the marketing strategy for a biotechnology startup, and launching his own company. With Anthony’s background in speechwriting, he was excited to tell a story about overcoming failure but wanted the people who would ultimately be using the book – students and teachers – to be a part of the creation process. The result of his human-centered design approach to authorship is a children’s book that is grounded in what users need, with hints of some of Anthony’s favorite things, like science, product design, and outer space. The book is now available on Amazon.
In his free time, Anthony is teaching himself how to play the violin and continues to work on startup concepts.