I think this idea is absolutely magnificent. In the end, going to college is about preparing and learning how to carry out projects in the real world. By focusing on portfolio-building, we begin to focus more on project management, project experience, skill-building, working in a group and all those things you need to be successful in the real world (instead on exam-preparation, data-building, etc.). In essence, then, I like how this idea shifts the focus of college/school from exam performance to creative performance.
I really like this idea of embracing failure. This idea of accepting failure reminded me of 3 things:
1. A book titled "Start-Up Nation" based on the phenomenon of entrepreneurship in Israel. According to the book, "Israeli culture and regulations reflect a unique attitude to failure, one that has managed to repeatedly bring failed entrepreneurs back into the system to constructively use their experience to try again, rather than leave them permanently stigmatized and marginalized." What is the consequence of this? Israel, a small country of only 7 million people, now has more high-tech start-ups and a larger venture capital industry per capita than any other country in the world. Israel also has more companies listed in the NASDAQ stock exchange than any country outside the United States, save China.
2. Along similar lines, I was recently told an interesting story. This executive at a firm made a bad decision and decided to spend $10 million on a project that ultimately failed. This was highly publicized and she was called into the CEOs office. She apologized for the mistake and said she was ready to turn in her resignation. At this point, the CEO exclaimed "Are you kidding? I just spent $10 million educating you! Why would I want you to go?"
3. The Marshmallow Challenge (http://marshmallowchallenge.com/): children tend to have higher success completing this challenge than CEOs because they are prepared to "fail often to suceed sooner".
I think you guys put together several very cool ideas! I hope to see more of this mullet idea as I also think it has a lot of potential.