Sat, Jul 05, 2014
When I grew up we played a video game called “Lemmings”. It was hilarious, challenging (at least in the later levels) and highly addictive. The basic premise of the game was: Lemmings are these weird little creatures which, if not directed, walked blindly off a cliff into their certain death (effectively committing mass suicide). Your job was to help them get from one side of the screen to the other.
What’s striking about Lemmings (and the misconception about their herd instinct) is the fact that so many people in startup land behave just like the archetypal lemming: They go with the crowd. And thus create the umm-teenth version of something which has long been invented (Tinder for Pets!? Uber for Massages!?). The (supposedly) smarter ones go against the crowd. Which is not much better — as their theory of change is simply based on negating what everybody else is doing.
Here’s a radical idea: Think.
“Don’t go with the crowd. Don’t go against the crowd. Think for yourself.”
I keep saying that there are no maps. And even if you see a map — it’s never yours. The same goes for everything else in life: Whatever happens around you has a) already happened (thus it’s the past) and b) is at best data points for your own thinking but never the essence of a new idea.
Step back from your computer, give yourself some serious headspace and indulge in deep thinking and exploration. That’s how you create truly new and disruptive businesses.