42nd Street Company (#42stc)

Make a race, not a cosy cradle

By on October 21, 2013

Often you take too long to realize that your idea or your project will not become the success you had planned for. If something is not developing as expected, you should have a way of finding out and realizing that as soon as possible.

To make the famous choice – pivot or persevere – when you can still do so in a controlled way.

Personal ideas and internal projects often end up in some protective, cosy, cradle-like environment – with well-meaning guardians nursing the innocent ‘child’ and all irregularities remain unspoken. As it’s said: hear no evil; speak no evil; see no evil. Often you end blindfolding yourself and act on the inconvenient reality far too late.

Another aspect of this is that as long as there is only one, then that’s the one and only, the dream child, the precious.

Not only is there often a lack of willingness to see clearly – there is also an environment in which it’s difficult to see clearly.

Counter to the ‘cradle’ approach you have an option to ‘make a race’.

Look at more than one idea at the time and set up some criteria for what good and bad ideas are and how they are supposed to develop to be winners. When you look at more ideas in combination, you will better be able to compare them and follow their progress over time. After a while it will be evident who the potential winners are and who’s lagging behind. This will allow you to groom and replace less promising ideas with newer and more prospective ones on an ongoing basis.

You have created a race – lean back – enjoy – pick the winners when you know who they are.

When I met my wife, she had a great camera – an Olympus OM2. It was a gift from her family. When shooting pictures with it, they always came out in a poor quality. She had given up. I picked up the camera with excitement. After persistent effort I also had to realize that my pictures were poor quality. I took it to a dealer. He found out the shutter had a defect. A manufacturing defect. My wife never realized and blamed the poor quality on herself. If she had had more than one camera, this would not likely have happened. This is the idea of the ‘race’ versus the ‘cradle’. If you have only one, it’s always perfect.

Go make a race 🙂