Why I don’t want to disrupt
Ever since I remember, I abhorred the idea of having a 9–5 job. So growing up as a millennial is great, since it seems the times are changing to allow people to not “have a job”, and instead focus on the work to be done, wherever their passions lie.
And so millions of people stop working for “the man” (what can I say? I’ve been watching A LOT of that 70’s show on Netflix) to join the ranks of entrepreneurs.
Or try to, at any rate.
While one of the greatest strengths humans have has always been our ability to copy, people seem to forget that mindlessly coping never got anyone anywhere. With the internet, we are flooded with information about anything, and for those who are entrepreneurs, this can be incredibly dangerous.
Every day we are bombarded by news of people that did something outrageous, and in doing so achieved results we dream of. And that encourages us to go and do something outrageous as well. Other people disrupt industries, so we want to as well.
We figure, since someone else did something seemingly stupid, and not only got away with it, but transformed it into something ground-breaking, we should go do something stupid as well. And that’s where the problem lies.
People who are successful, set out with a purpose greater than to “disrupt” something, or “be successful”. Disruption is simply a byproduct of their original purpose, be it what it may be. Skipping that part by focusing on being disruptive is downright suicidal.
To me, there’s nothing that will make me stop paying attention to what you are saying than the words “Uber for [your market]” or “the next Facebook” or even “the most disruptive thing since [insert something here]”.
The reason is simple, and has been said millions of times by millions of people. But I’m going to take it a step further.
The reason is your opinion is worth nothing when talking about your own product. Zero. Zit. Nada. If you don’t think so, look it up. Ask around online what an idea is worth. I won’t get into that here because it’s been said to many times before.
So when you use one of the phrases above, it shows you are either:
- An honest-to-God idiot
- A charlatan
Let me explain why.
You are a charlatan when you know your product is not all that, but it makes good marketing. If you fit that description, leave now. You make me sick.
But you are an idiot when you truly, absolutely believe that your idea is so incredible that it will shake the foundation of society and usher in a new era forever.
I’m not saying that that won’t happen: it might. But if you really think that from day one, I guarantee that it won’t.
It’s not because I like to be mean, and definitely not because I’m jealous. It’s simply because you’ll be blind to all the problems your idea has, and when I say this, I mean the problems at the conceptual level.
Your first concept is ALWAYS wrong (trust me, I know). Even if you think you’re a special little cookie. Your idea is flawed, and it just wont work. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have potential to evolve into something great.
Believing blindly in your idea, however, will make you unable to see the flaws in it, which will stop its evolution, and when put to the test, it simply won’t hold.
Of course, it won’t hold even if you take your idea with a grain of salt (as you should), because that’s simply the way it is. The difference though is that in the first situation, you went all out and got invested in your idea, and spent a lot of time (and most likely money) on it, only to find that the reality of it is so vastly different then what you expected, that you are now in a very bad position, while in the second scenario you only put enough time and effort into it in order not to see if it would break, but where.
By expecting things to go badly, you take calculated steps, so you do not suddenly find yourself in a pit too deep to climb out of, and are able to adjust constantly in order to polish the idea and create something that has real value, and true worth.
And when you do, others will start to call you “Uber for [your market]” or “the next Facebook” or “the most disruptive thing since [insert something here]”.
And that is almost as bad as the self-delusion you originally had. Even if the ones saying it know what they are talking about, once that gets to your head, it’s over. It is a horrible thing to say, but the only way to be great is to constantly evolve, and the only way to truly add value with each evolution is to lack satisfaction with what you have.
Disruption for disruption’s sake is destructive. And it accomplishes nothing (good). That’s why I aim instead to make something better, something that will give greater value to my life, be it disruptive or not.
Personally, I intend to create products that will add to overall life quality. I admire a lot the people who actually do some good in the world, like try to fight cancer, etc., but I’m not on their level. Not yet, anyway. So instead, I will try to make people happy. If I disrupt something or not, as long as I am able to add to happiness, it doesn’t matter to me.