The World is Amazing and Nobody Dares

From Rob May, this thought today on building something new: the world is a big place. Relating this to his experiences with the start up Backupify - I'm not a customer, but I've heard that it's a great service - Rob points out that negative comments come with the territory.

Well, so what? Besides, don't flatter yourself. Not as many people have heard about you and what you're doing as you may believe.

It's tough. It's practical. It's optimistic advice for creators, and not just for creators in business.

Here's why. To build something that hasn't been built before, you're going to have to do things you've never done before. It's a truism, but that doesn't mean it's inevitable.

Creativity is by definition an act of faith.

Last Thursday during IF @ Lunch Fast Company co-founder Bill Taylor pointed out that in periods of great change, the job of leaders is to "reminisce about the future," to paint of compelling picture of what could be, and since I can hear Rob now, to execute on that vision - whatever that might mean.

In practice, this will often mean letting go of what has worked in the past, and the indulgent and treacly nostalgia that seems to accompany it. It's in times of turmoil - particularly in times of turmoil - that sticking to what's always worked is what people do when they're out of ideas and courage. If I may riff on the line from Louis CK above, the world is an amazing place and nobody dares. "I'm so sorry boarding was delayed 20 minutes," but did your chair fly through the air?

Recently, I wondered whether the faithless

know that engineers are inspired by birds to design flocks of machines, or really believe that the next step will not be the last - never mind whether that belief calls on the extra-natural or not - or that our self-aware biology is still one gaping, breath-taking mystery to philosophers and biologists alike, or that 500 other worlds and counting orbit stars far distant the yellow dwarf we know so well. Do they know that golden ages lie ahead? Do they know that doughty robots have sighted fountains near Saturn, or that oceans may spread across the deep below Enceladus or Europa, and that life clings to sulfur vents in the crushing depths of our own oceans, or that lately, some think that life may loiter in the thick orange atmosphere of Titan?

Negative comments? There are worlds to discover.