We need impossibly bold ideas to transform our world.
We need to reset the bar of value considerably higher, based on cultural and global societal needs and tempered by the very possibility to impact meaningful changes in today’s world.
If we look at the most sweeping changes we benefit from every day—be they Uber, AirBnb, Bikeshare, Facebook, Slack or Twitter—I believe these will be seen over time as simply building blocks for a new set of changes we need to address.
From clean energy to a healthy food supply to cybersecurity to communications platforms to the impossible congestion on our roads.
We don’t need to disrupt these areas as much as we need to rethink them completely.
I’m honestly not in awe of how far we’ve come. I’m completely in awe of where we can get to now.
I think the scale of the needed changes will potentially reconfigure how we approach innovation itself.
For over a decade now we’ve evolved the concept of work and the structure of entrepreneurship from a bottoms up point of of view. It’s changed our world and got us to where we are.
We have incubators, not unlike the old Hollywood studio system, that warehouse talent with a capital-first perspective, shuffling a broad array of people through a pitchfest for capital.
I’ve been part of this and it’s been an essential step.
But I wonder if this process needs to be rethought as well.
Whether in the upcoming years, this will still be spearheaded by team and founder as sacrosanct, and not one driven by the clarity and boldness of the ideas themselves as the organizing force?
Whether the idea of a startup will not change somewhat as more corporations with the reach, the resources and the data repositories will not become the capital sources tying innovation directly to infrastructure to leverage formative changes with less friction.
Whether this idea of change from the bottom up was a stage in itself?
Not about the aggregate of countless micro efforts but the need for big ideas that could capitalize on the massive potential we have today. Turning huge problems into a elegant, far-reaching solutions. Change built on the human capital and dynamics in our networks themselves.
I grew up in the tech industry as part of the revolution that a few people in a loft or garage could prototype something that could rewire our world.
It worked well and we are all the beneficiaries of this.
I wonder though if five years from today, the greatest changes we experience on the streets will come out of incubators and pitch fests. Or whether something else is brewing.
We are living the reality that the impossible is indeed possible. That unfathomable logistics are simply a step to take, not a show stopper when resourced.
I believe that we are entering an era where potentially, like in the entertainment industry, the creative idea is the starting point. The organizing principal.
The creative vision where possibility supersedes the mechanics of fundraising, team building, market penetration and the rest.
All are of course critical.
But I wonder whether we’ve turned a huge corner of both need and probability that the impossible can indeed happen in a new way.
Not that each and every piece is not critical of course. That iteration and execution aren’t essential, just that without the idea, without the vision, its just mechanics and skills.
Like walking into a factory or workspace or an industrial kitchen. Simply desks and metal and technology.
With vision and creativity and an incubated idea, there can be magic that changes the world.
Wake up early tomorrow and take a walk around your town or your city.
Think through how people move around. How transactions happen. How healthcare is instituted. How we live our lives. How we communicate cross time and space.
Never has a bigger ship with built in dynamics for larger and faster change been so verdant for rethinking. Where need and possibility intersect so easily.
Our world has so changed. Dramatically and for the better.
I have to wonder if the process of innovation itself, may not be next piece to re-imagine.
A requisite to even larger changes, rethought to suit the possibilities of the times themselves.