Crossing the line between bold and absurd in business
By TRISOFT team
If we look up the definition of “absurd” in a dictionary, we will surely come across words such as illogic, unreasonable, even ridiculous. But is it really that bad?
The French philosopher Albert Camus was the first to introduce the concept of “absurdity” in relation to human life — he believed there was a fundamental conflict between what we wanted from the universe (meaning, reason, order) and what we found in it (utter chaos).
Nowadays, we tend to leave this explanation behind and move toward a more practical manner of categorizing the absurd — everything that seems uncomfortable, unfamiliar or too bold to us is deemed absurd ;) Yet history has shown us that no great innovation or progress has ever been made without a visionary, someone who was keen on doing something that had never been done before, while breaking the rules of how it could be done, thus getting called “absurd” and “crazy” at the time.
Two decades ago, who would have thought that you would one day call people on the telephone and ask them where they are? Phones were attached to wires in your house and there was no way you could be anywhere else than inside your own home, answering the call. Who would have imagined we would be charging these new telephones without a direct connection such as a cable, such as through the present wireless charging feature? Who would have guessed that we would eventually even charge our cigarettes, that wearing tattered, ripped jeans would become a trend, that we wouldn’t have to commute to an office in order to work, that we would never carry any money in our pocket, only a tiny plastic card? Who in God’s name ever came up with the idea of locking people up in a room and having them struggle to escape it as a means of having fun? And, on top of it all, who would have predicted that we would someday want to make every single detail of our life public, on these so-called social media platforms, using a computer can fit in our pockets?
Fail above someone else’s success
These were all ideas that seemed preposterous at the time, but someone envisioned them and set to work. Of course they probably failed time and time again, but during their lifetime, they have seen their concepts come to life. As award-winning and world-famous filmmaker James Cameron once said, “If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above someone else’s success.”
These are the people who go beyond the lines, who see opportunity where others see impossibility, who risk doubt and ridicule for the chance to do something extraordinary and be remembered long after they’re gone. Their lives matter because they visualize something greater than themselves, which they are completely determined to make real, to turn the impossible into the achievable, to ride the line between genius and madness.
The entrepreneurs who shape the future are not afraid to test the absurd — actually, they embrace it. They are disruptors, agitators, challengers of the status quo and naturally inclined toward asking tradition-challenging “What if?” questions.
The seeds of innovation
How can we encourage and support the dreamers, the visionaries, the pioneers that work with or for us? When someone suggests an original, off-the-wall idea, the first reaction is silence — the room suddenly becomes eerily quiet. Everyone’s wheels are spinning and the natural inclination is to dismiss it. But what if we show that it is acceptable and even recommendable to think outside the box, to share these wild insights, by expressing how intrigued we are, thinking about ways to expand on them, finding solutions for putting them into practice? We don’t necessarily have to accept or implement them (some may truly be foolish, ludicrous notions that a person has just thrown out there to get responses from others), but we should respect them — it gives other people the feeling that they have the freedom to think unconventionally, to make themselves heard without repercussions, thus stimulating inspiration and novel theories.
Absurd ideas can lead to great things — they are the seeds of innovation, because most of the times, they defy conventional mindsets and can lead to shifts in mentalities and practical outcomes.
Nowadays, when everything around us is changing with lightning speed, standing still is not an option. And safe, cautious, conservative approaches may not ensure our survival. Predictions are that in the next two decades, 40% of current jobs will become obsolete. That is why we need to get ahead of things and make ourselves indispensable, by dreaming big and finding outstanding solutions that no-one else has come up with. In order to be successful, people will have to try and shape the future, instead of becoming its victim. A bit of constant inquisitiveness, boldness and risk assumption will keep you up-to-date with transitions and at the center of what will come next.
At TRISOFT, we encourage you to be brave and open-minded. Don’t let the competition grab the best ideas first, be a pioneer. Respect, protect and experiment with original notions that sound “crazy”, eccentric, preposterous, and allow yourself space and time to find out whether the absurd idea is, in fact, a bold, groundbreaking initiative.