Plato is often credited with this famous expression, though exact source of his work is unavailable. Now-a-days, many aspects of life that were previously accepted for their face value are being re-written. Scientists are close to proving that theory of relativity is not fool-proof after all, capitalism is failing (there is still some debate) and most importantly, people are finding new and novel ways to create something new – ala Facebook.
Is there a big gap in the market that you want to fill? Do you want to write a book because you should write a book? Or do you create the next abundantly available renewable source of energy to replace our over-dependence on oil? It might seem like necessity is driving you to innovate, but that’s not quite true.
Let me tell you, and Plato why that is.
Most of the innovations in the turn of this century (and the last) were born not out of necessity, but rather by the want of something better. The gaps that we notice in the market (like long-term renewable sources of energy) are not necessities that people demand – at least not in the long run. Instead, these are the musings of one person who personally takes up responsibility to correct what he thinks should be corrected. Many of these innovations – such as Facebook, Google, Television, Telephone and the airplane – have been brought about by individuals that realized that they wanted to add something extra to the world – give it something back.
It was their perception about how world worked that made them sit up and take notice. You and I might not see the need for a renewable source of energy – after all, we are happy paying for gas and electricity, the big picture doesn’t really bother us – but the person who brings about a revolution does so because ‘he’ notices something missing. He doesn’t rely on the ideals of consumption – whether the world needs it or not. Rather, he had a dream, and he puts it into practice.
Still don’t believe me? Why do you think Google was started? Was it because the virtual world needed better indexing? Hell no! It was started because the founders wanted to do something exciting and they wanted to fill a gap in the market – a gap no one else saw (or if they saw it, they couldn’t capitalize). It was not necessity that drove them, it was their perception that joining the missing links is far more important than trying to forcibly fill a necessity.
So what does this mean for you and your next goals?
If you have a dream to innovate, to make a difference…do it, regardless of how it will affect people. Based on your perspectives, do the best you can; and you will innovate something that the whole world will stand up to applaud. You can tweak it to meet their expectations later; but for now, your perception will drive the world forward.
Does this post inspire you to reach your next goal, regardless of what others think? What are your thoughts on the subject? I would love to hear about it!
Image Credit: nicheprof from Flickr