Wilhelm Roentgen’s x-rays.
Heinrich Hertz’s radio waves.
Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity.
When these discoveries were born, they had no application. In a word, they were useless. But thanks to them, we can now look inside bodies, transmit our voices, navigate with GPS, and so much more.
Similarly, your ideas may not immediately appear to have a practical use but that doesn’t mean you should discard them.
Lesson #1: Don’t worry about being ahead of your time
Like some of the world’s greatest discoveries, anything worthwhile requires nurturing, investment and time. They may even need to be put on the shelf for a little while – or in the case of Apple, a quarter of a century!
The video below was made in 1987 and showcases the company’s vision for the future. The ‘Apple Computer Knowledge Navigator’ shares obvious likenesses with both the iPad and Siri.
At the time, Apple was criticised for predicting future technology that could never be delivered. And of course in 1987, there was no way such a device could exist – it was the stuff of The Jetsons. But Apple has never let technological constraints extinguish a great idea. Now, nearly 30 years later, we see that what many viewed as fantasy is coming to fruition. And Apple is once again reaping the rewards of its prescience.
Lesson #2: Don’t let reality hinder your imagination or ability to lead
It’s easy to continue doing things the same way everyone else does them; that’s how most people operate and it works fine. But if you want to initiate change and be a leader in your field, this approach won’t suffice. In the words of Steve Jobs, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower”. You know your trade best and are inside your industry – you have powerful knowledge and insights.
It’s up to you to harness this expertise and specialised understanding to look at ways your industry can improve and evolve. “To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.” Einstein may have been talking about science but the sentiment is true for any area.
So when you have an idea that seems fanciful, remember that it might just be a matter of time before the constraints holding it back no longer exist. And when you realise this, the only constraint remaining is your imagination.
At Shuttle Rocket, we’re always putting our minds at work to unravel new ways of doing things. That’s why we’ve created a clever online system that empowers small business owners to get quality web copy on a budget. View our affordable copywriting services today.