Courage in business – why it pays to take a leap
Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall – Ray Bradbury
Science fiction writers like Bradbury are known for their lateral imagination, for an acute vision of alternate worlds. An idea is simply an exploration of a different viewpoint and therefore is packed with potential. It needs to be nurtured, to transform fiction into reality:
The Tender Fledgling Idea
Ideas, like children, are precious. Sometimes 4am creations may seem ridiculous later in the morning, but the subconscious has an interesting way of tapping into your strengths and creative flair, when your brain is not fighting to be logical. An idea may flutter initially like an emerging butterfly and if it’s strong enough, you will know if it can take flight.
Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway
As Adam Ant once said ‘ridicule is nothing to be scared of…’ Some of the most innovative elements of our world that are now integral to all human life were once very much ridiculed. People thought that if they travelled at high speeds, such as on trains, they would melt. Or that telephones might electrocute them. Fear, when it comes to technology, has always been there. But even in fashion and beauty, trousers for women were once considered shocking and short hairstyles made grandmothers blush. In the 1980s – cyberphobia (fear of computers) was at its peak, with people frightened that computers would take over and rob them of personal control. Self-driving cars? It seemed absurd then but now it’s a hot topic.
Send In The Clowns – Products That Failed
OK, it cannot be denied that some ideas are blatantly ridiculous and that the market is not yet ready for them, may never be ready for them. From cat exercisers to Cheese-Filter Cigarettes (they apparently filter the harmful effects of nicotine), at least inventors have the courage to file their patents with the self-belief that they will bring them riches and respect. If the idea is impractical, there may also be something salvageable, with a few refinements.
The Sinclair C5 is probably the most quoted example of a failed invention. People laughed at it, certainly did not buy it in their droves. Sinclair badgered on with various amendments but it seemed to lack the ‘sexy’ element that makes a brand market-worthy. This is when a professional sounding board is essential and not your mother/Aunt Sarah – they may praise your ironing board that also serves as a camp bed but an objective bystander will be more constructive.
White Boards And Wisdom
You are no longer the cowardly lion from The Wizard of Oz – you have emerged from the shadows and you have a brilliant idea! Whether it is a straightforward practical product, something simple that you think would market well or a science fiction wonder, this is the time for fresh eyes and guidance. Leonardo da Vinci’s exquisitely illustrated notebooks are testament to his genius, his inventiveness centuries before the world was sophisticated enough to realise his dreams. Now the world moves faster – so much more is possible. Your notebooks are important too – you need to see if your ideas can take flight.
Courage will always be a strong, admirable quality and in business, it can lead to profit and expansion. All you may need is a guiding hand, an influx of creativity and a plan.