Krista's Coding Corner

04.01.2013

Offtopic: Idea for success

Success stories –what is THE idea that will change the world?

We often try to find the reasons why something turned out to be a success (= someone got lots of €€€ / fame). And then we think how we could use that same path to create our success story.

The sad truth just seems to be that this is not the way to create great ideas or even turn great ideas into success stories. Sure, afterwards we can always find some patterns that are, if not identical, at least similar compared to other success stories.

But this is always done afterwards.

Or maybe you disagree. Maybe you know many ideas that were awesome in the beginning. But think this: how many times you have said “oh, that is clever, what a wonderful idea!”, and never heard about the idea again. Just like with horoscopes: we tend to remember only certain things –things we want. Like we notice those cases that fit to our theory of success.

So, in my opinion we can’t learn too much from success and already realized dreams. They sure can give us hope, inspiration and maybe motivation but the lesson we get is quite vague.

Reality isn’t still such a bitch as it seems: we have failures. And we have lots of them.

What I have learnt, is that many times we know in the beginning what is going to sink the idea or the project. We have doubts. If we disregard these doubts, often the case is that they will realize. Or so it feels ;) Even more often we encounter problems that seem quite obvious afterwards. The worst problems are those which aren't easy to see even when we look back.

I’m quite sure that the best lessons come from the stories on how you can fail. Because it is easy to fail in same way millions have done before you. Failures have the tendency to repeat themselves. And minimizing silly risks is always a good idea.

Just knowing what succeeded in history, what was the new big thing and how it became it, won’t give you too much idea about anything new, only about what worked then. Those new big things are never quite the same, isn’t that the point in them: they are unique, something totally different (and often wrapped in an old packet ;) ). Things that change the world, do just that because they are different and they change the way we think and act. And when the new ship has sailed, it has sailed: after that we have just replicas of the big idea. Not saying that replicas wouldn’t be any good but they are in quite different category.

How to know if your idea is IT? You can’t really, only time will tell but meanwhile work hard. And learn from your and others' experiences.

PS. Has any proven-to-be-great-idea been without criticism, resistance and disbelief in the beginning (and even after that)?

PPS. Some say experience creates confidence, but don't you think that with experience you learn so many ways you can fail. In that sense, experience creates uncertainty because you don't blindly trust or believe in things, but then again experience also gives us the tools to diminish risks. ;)

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