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Bell Curve


You got caught on a webcam whizzing on the boss' keyboard; it was posted on YouTube just after you were arrested; if you're lucky, your next job will be that of a bank teller…in Nairobi.


You're Bad Luck Schleprock—every gig you take fails; you are known as The Cloud of Doom. You keep getting hired but with increasing trepidation on the part of the employers as they know that as soon as they bring you on board, the company is likely to go bankrupt.


You work at a small start-up. It gets bought for not a lot of money by BigFatCompany, Inc. You work there for 20 more years and retire, having led a low stress, mellow life. You become a really good surf and paddle boarder with your kids in the meantime. "Great failure."


You are a Founder. You start your own company, take it public. You took on a bunch of venture capital money along the way, so even though the stock market values your company at $1 billion, you "only" own 7% of it—that's $70 million of equity value in your pocket. You can survive on that dough—you no longer need to only shop at WalMart. But you do. You still like their value proposition. And the greeters.