Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Innovation, My Dog and Persistence


Have you ever had that feeling (this is a rhetorical question – because I know we all do) that when you take on a task it is supposed to be successful the first time you take it on? In fact, isn't it rather hard to find motivation for a task when you are not sure of the outcome?

How in the world do we ever survive as entrepreneurs?

Those who must be certain of the outcome don’t have a chance.

I was observing my dog the other day. Actually I was being quite irritated by my dog the other day. She has this habit of always expecting a positive outcome. For her, a positive outcome is either food or a walk. She is OK with just paying attention to her. But she believes that every motion I make has the possibility of resulting in food or a walk. She never gives up on this belief. She is never daunted by the failure of previous attempts. She always plows on. She is the epitome of persistence.

How many innovators have the same persistence?

How many of us who toil to discover and bring to light the next great idea give up too early?

Sometimes I think that old saying about repeating the same thing over and over again and each time expecting a new result is the definition of insanity might have a double edged meaning for innovators and entrepreneurs: Persistence in the face of overwhelming odds is crazy and YES, we have to be a bit insane to make innovation work.

I think going forward I am going to start acting more like my dog: Whatever new idea pops in my mind, I am going to assume it may one day result in food. And when it doesn't, I’ll just take a walk around the block.