Sunday, April 24, 2016

Instead of consulting the literature, write it

Nisbett reminds us that when we have the beginnings of an idea about something, the worst thing to do is consult the literature before we get started to work on it. In doing so, he writes, we will be certain to assimilate our potentially original idea to something that is already out there. 

But it’s just an ego vortex. A safety drill. It’s creative resistance in disguise. Because we’re scared. We seek confirmation that this new thing we’re working on isn’t crazy. That the marketplace will welcome it with open arms. Only then, will we launch our idea. 

That’s not how innovation works. Nobody changes the world by finding out what other people already know. They change the world by committing to the frightening work of flying blind. They change the world by stubbornly sticking their fingers in their ears and bravely venturing into the dark forest of the unknown. 

And so, if you’re working on something new and exciting, instead of consulting the literature, write it. Instead of meeting the standard, set it. Doing research is procrastination in disguise. 

Jobs never gave customers what they wanted. He believed people didn’t know what they wanted until somebody showed them. And so, he spent his career showing them. He never consulted the literature for objects of interest, he became one. 

Remember, your greatest currency in this world is your originality. And that demands a willingness to experiment. Don’t worry about what most people normally. Just start. Hire yourself. Let the rest of the world that follows be compared to you. Because the best way to shatter the limit is not to know one exists. 

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
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