Going Short. Going Long.
Lots of people, creatives specifically
will have a very negative view of being in a reactive mode toward something. The commonly held belief is that good work is thoughtful, considered, and the product of long, unconscious marination. You understand the problem, you actively forget about it and — Bang! You’re doing some super boring shit like mowing your lawn and the lightning bolt strikes. That’s how it’s supposed to work. What if we reevaluated the worth of ideas conceived with a gun to your head?
What if you took your gut, reactive thoughts and developed them?
First, you’d have to get over the general belief that an instantaneous idea sucks. I think it is safe to say there seems to be a shared idea that the thought which happens immediately has no worth. If I say to you “How do we make a better taco?” and you said, “Fuck, I don’t know, make the bottom flat so it doesn’t fall over?,” we’d laugh and say that idea was ridiculous. Then, we’d remind each other that the traditional taco shape has serious brand equity and that people have emotional attachments to crappy, narrow tacos that fell apart when they were kids and it reminds them of the good times and, by the way, if the taco people would have wanted it that way, they would have made it that way in the first place and they’re smarter than us and they didn’t ask us to change the shape.
“Fuck, I don’t know, make the bottom flat so it doesn’t fall over?”
In other words, we’ll talk ourselves out of a good idea because we don’t believe anything worthwhile is coming in the first 30 seconds. Or, that the first thought is somehow obvious. Or, that thought is ours and therefore has no merit. I believe we have a bias toward speed. And, it’s not a good one, as far as business is concerned, because it is a bias toward inaction.
How many of you have been in the super tedious, multi-level, bureaucratic meeting where you just sit there and think, “Can we please do something?” How often have you had a project take forever because it has to be soooo carefully considered? What if you just got it out there? Would it fail? Would that be the end of the world?
We all know the giant business clichés about failure. Fail. Fail again. You learn by failing. If you don’t fail, you’re not trying. Etc., etc., so forth and so on. Maybe there’s less failure in being fast. Or at least more worth in that failure. More opportunity to learn, to change and to understand how great ideas come to life. On occasion, maybe it is better to go with gut and have it crash and burn than take forever, agonize over every detail and still go down in flames.
We should make the things we doubt.
At the very least, we should explore them.