Keep playing trashcan basketball, the process of ideation is normally a messy one.
Have you ever heard in school that there’s no such thing as a bad idea? I know I have. But if you’re like me, you’ve probably decided at one point or another not to risk your reputation on a crazy idea that everyone will most likely think is stupid.
Here’s the deal - there’s something called the Corridor Principle (like a hallway, corridor just sounds classier). Basically, if you start walking down a corridor toward a door at the end, along the way you’ll have access to other doors on your right and left that can be opened and take you to down other halls that could lead to way better doors than the one you originally started walking toward. The tragedy is most people spend their whole lives second guessing whether or not they should start down a particular hall because they don’t know what’s behind the door at the end, so they don’t move anywhere.
Teddy Roosevelt once said, In the moment of decision, the best thing to do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.
Ya see, opportunity is attracted to forward motion. Think about it this way, you can’t steer a parked car, right? Meaning that it’s easier to start driving, even if it’s in the wrong direction, because then you can realize which way you’re going and have the momentum to make a U-turn. Successful businesses don’t do everything perfectly, they just fail faster than the competition and innovate as a result of it. Are you afraid your idea isn’t the next the next Google? That’s okay, Google wasn’t Google as we know it today when it first started.
Venture capital firms, who professionally assess the most promising startups, only expect 20% of their investments to become a huge success. The Pareto Principle really does apply to most things in life.
So run with your ideas, and be willing to accept that most of them will be utter failures, but it’s the failure that leads you to success, so fail forward.
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