For the record, I’m totally over using Wikipedia as an example of anything except as an example of an overused example. Is a Wiki encyclopedia the only creative thing the internet has produced? Please pardon my digression.
What do the movies Ishtar and Rain Man have in common? They are the consecutive movies in 1987 and 1988 in which Dustin Hoffman starred. I’ve often wondered why an obviously great actor would choose a role in a notoriously bad movie. Couldn’t he see that Ishtar was going to suck? Did he know Rain Man was going to be great? Apparently not.
By now we must all know the secret is in doing, especially since Nike changed their tag line back in the ‘80’s. Take your shot. Be overly cautious and you’ll end up sitting on every idea you’ve ever had.
I’m never “all in” though; I have doubts. Well, don’t. Have no doubt about it, your idea will fail. Your concept at the start will not be the one you take to the goal.
As a photographer I “shoot around it”; my typical success rate is 100:1 if I’m being vaguely creative. If I close the ratio I’m going safe and less with creative instincts.
My new adventure is scripting stories for film – a newbie. In a short 6 months the best quote I’ve applied is that your film is shot 3 times: once in your head, once on film (or video), and once when editing. With each success, the effort that goes out with the trash should be considerable if you’re doing it right.
I guess we don’t know until we try; we’re not as good at predicting success as one might think. Truth is, innovators fail far more than those who aren’t. That’s not what it looks like on the surface. At quick glance, you’re innovative and I’m not. In reality, I’m not failing enough; I’m looking for that 1 in 100 before it happens.
According to Frans Johansson, research tells us that the single strongest correlation between innovator success is the number of ideas they try to make happen. Example: Einstein published 240 unreferenced papers. That’s 240:1.
The secret is in taking the smallest executable step to move your idea forward. What is the minimum investment you need that will convince you to take another step? The strategy is to convince yourself it can work.
Additionally, accept failure of your first step. Start walking northeast even though your final goal may be true north. Do it right and your goal moves, the idea changes as we conduct research, collect resources and create prototypes.
Frans Johansson is an entrepreneur and thought leader. He is also a consultant and the managing director for a hedge fund. Frans previously co-founded and managed two companies, a Boston-based software company and a medical device company operating out of Baltimore, Maryland and Stockholm, Sweden.
Raised in Sweden by his African-American and Cherokee mother and Swedish father, Frans earned an MBA at Harvard Business School and a BS in environmental science at Brown University.
A successful author, Frans has written on a variety of topics, from business management to healthcare to sport fishing to how to save our oceans. His bestselling book, The Medici Effect, has been translated into 17 languages and was named “One of the Ten Best Business Books of 2004″ by Amazon.com.