The realist versus the optimistic idiot

From a discussion on the ITIL Alumni LinkedIn group:

Brendan Martin:
Geir and me have several ideas a week for possible projects. Some of these ideas are tested, some succeed but most fail. We don’t mind. If you don’t shoot, you will never score.

Our latest idea is different. It is so simple. I still however believe that maybe 1000 people around the world were thinking of the same idea at the same time we sang “Eureka!”.

But first, what makes simple ideas succeed. I wonder why Dropbox succeeded, why Twitter succeeded, why Facebook succeeded, why the ipod succeeded. All of these ideas had competition. Maybe they all had great business plans but few actually got the idea “in the zone”. Learning to put your ideas “in the zone” gives them energy. Along with perseverance, simple ideas may succeed.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” Mark Twain.

Geir Isene:
The nay-sayers are almost always right; “No, no that idea will never work”. Because most ideas fail in execution. This is also how they treat their own ideas before they even get spoken. And that is why they never try. And to prove their own rightness, they will try to convince everybody around them that their ideas will also fail.

But our creative fellow, the yeah-sayer, is a hopeless optimist, never giving up – even after a thousand ideas have been shot down, he still musters the stupidity to give it another shot. And once in a blue moon, a crazy idea does succeed – sometimes against all odds, sometimes because it slips by before anyone could see it to shoot it down.

And then you get real change. Real positive impact.

10 thoughts on “The realist versus the optimistic idiot

  1. haha! I remember an LRH quote about “the not-quite bright.” saying that they had usefulness as in “pioneer areas” where they weren’t bright enough to “give up.” haha! That always seemed just like me and it really stuck! hahaha!

  2. “I started my life with a vision. And that vision was simple. The world was mine to create and express my truth uninhibited and freely for the world to see. And the only mistake I ever made was to actually listen to the world when they rejected it. When I agreed with the values of this world I began to slowly die. It wasn’t until I remembered my vision that I began to live again. From that moment on I vowed to never to stop living my truth no matter how long or hard the struggle.”

  3. I don’t know how to “catch” this article. Speaking about the 2 texts, Geir and Martin are both realistic and optimistic, but not idiots. Speaking about the 2 characters of the text, neither the nay-sayer is realistic, or the yeah-sayer is idiot.
    The article idea is great but linked with the title the conclusion can be messy. I see it more like a pre-article, a preface to a project or a positive action to come.

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