Wednesday, 8 December 2010

#3 When it's rational to be quite irrational

the story of xerox, originally uploaded by L-plate big cheese.
I've often had my ideas put down and been left feeling pretty lousy about myself. We probably all know many instances where this has happened, and most of us will just give up at that stage. It's the natural thing to do, especially if a few people have rubbished the idea in succession. It's as if we're statisticians with the hypothesis "my idea is great" who have gone out, tested it using a number of observations by telling other about it and then concluded that our hypothesis is incorrect. Obviously any rational individual at that stage would throw the idea out of the window.

Well, here's a little story for you.

When the concept of Xerox was first invented by a chap called Chester Carlson in 1938, it took him five whole years to convince someone to put their trust and money behind him in order to even develop the first commercial copier machines. No one would believe the poor guy that there was a market for this sort of thing until a company called Haloid bought a licence to the whole idea and by 1961 was listed in the NY stock exchange. That's pretty serious stuff, and the company was worth $37 million at the time. And I can imagine that during that FIVE years of going around telling people about his idea he must have had a fair few people rubbish it.

So next time someone puts down your ideas, and this applies to everyone there, sit back... reflect... because you never know.

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