You know, one of the things that really hurt Apple was after I left John Sculley got a very serious disease. It’s the disease of thinking that a really great idea is 90% of the work. And if you just tell all these other people “here’s this great idea,” then of course they can go off and make it happen.
And the problem with that is that there’s just a tremendous amount of craftsmanship in between a great idea and a great product. And as you evolve that great idea, it changes and grows. It never comes out like it starts because you learn a lot more as you get into the subtleties of it. And you also find there are tremendous tradeoffs that you have to make. There are just certain things you can’t make electrons do. There are certain things you can’t make plastic do. Or glass do. Or factories do. Or robots do.
Designing a product is keeping five thousand things in your brain and fitting them all together in new and different ways to get what you want. And every day you discover something new that is a new problem or a new opportunity to fit these things together a little differently.
And it’s that process that is the magic.
– Steve Jobs
Somehow I can’t believe that there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C s. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.
I stumbled upon this post from Seth Godin, the marketing pundit.
Often we consider an opportunity based on how easy it is. The problem with this analysis is that if it’s easy, it’s often not worth doing. It’s easy to start a blog, but of course, starting a blog doesn’t really deliver a lot of value. Posting 4,100 blog posts in a row, though, isn’t easy. It’s do-able, clearly do-able, and might just be worth it.
Successful organizations seek out the do-able. When Amazon went after the big bookstore chains, analysts ridiculed them for doing something insanely difficult. But it was clearly do-able. Persistence and talent and a bit of luck, sure, but do-able.
Sometimes we seek out things that are actually impossible. Building a search engine that’s just like Google but better is impossible (if your goal is to dominate the market with it). It’s fun to do impossible projects because then you don’t have to worry about what happens if you succeed… you have a safety net, because you’re dreaming the impossible dream.
Do-able, though, is within our reach. Ignore easy.
What he says here makes a lot of sense to me. I have had a blog for over an year and still 25 posts, which don’t even matter. Doesn’t really add value by any means either. Yet, I consider myself doing something that is do-able. Though, now I would aim to do something that is impossible for many. Hence, I’d have a safety net (as Seth mentions). What ever I do off the impossible, would then become an achievement.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from my years in the tech world, it’s that companies don’t get killed by competition. They usually find creative ways to commit suicide. – Sridhar Vembu, CEO of Zoho