New ideas are often met with skepticism and ridicule. People don’t like change and are often comfortable with the way things are. This can be true even if circumstances are not good and things are not going well. The lack of support of others or their resistance can be a significant barrier to innovation.
Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle, put it this way, “When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for everyone telling you you’re nuts.” What some people call crazy, I would call a willingness to go into the unknown, recognizing the risk but willing to take the risk to get to the reward.
I recently came across a cnn.com article about the iPad and airplanes that reminded me of this idea. When iPads came out some people just focused on what it could not do. They mocked the name. Who would want one of these devices? The answer now is everyone.
In the article an airline announced that they are replacing the paper pilot manuals on their planes with iPads. There was some resistance to the announcement. What would they do if the iPad failed? I focused on what the iPad was going to replace. The manuals and other materials a pilot was required to carry weighed 38 pounds and was more than 12,000 pages long.
I asked myself what is crazy – the new iPad or a pilot in a plane with 12K pages worth of materials and no search capability. Often the real crazy or dangerous behavior is staying with the status quo.
So the next time someone says your idea is nuts it may just be a sign you’re on the right track. The best thing we can do is go out and get a little crazy.
To read the airline article click here.
This blog was originally posted September 7, 2011