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What Do We Know?

March 23, 2017

We don’t have everything figured out.

This is news to me, honestly. Every time I see a new app or hear about a new business, my first thought is “Why didn’t I think of that?”

My second thought? “Oh well, looks like I’ve missed out. Everything is officially figured out now.”

Just think:  How were we connecting before facebook, and paying for online services before paypal? Better yet, who knew we could grasp those technologies along with tons of other media simultaneously on a smartphone? Great ideas, and we missed our turn to discover them.

But this is the wrong way to think. Enter Richard Branson:

“What humanity has collectively learned so far would make up a tiny mark within the circle. Everything we all have to learn in the future would take up the rest of the space. It is a big universe, and we are all learning more about it every day. If you aren’t listening, you are missing out.”

I’ve been looking at it completely wrong. In fact, I’ve made a (poorly drawn) visual aid to push my point across. Here’s my way of thinking before Branson’s wisdom:

pic quote 1

The black in the circle represents what we already know, and the white dot shows the elusive .0001% of stuff we have yet to discover. Again, this is totally wrong. Here is a proper representation:

Pic quote 2

In this graphic, the color representations are the same. This time, the visual accurately depicts our state of being with respect to our limited knowledge.

But this is all garbage, you say. Why does Branson’s word make it so?

I’d challenge you to look at what he’s accomplished. Record company? Check. Airline? Check. Over 400 companies? Done.

Better yet, look at the innovators of your favorite apps, services, and businesses. Do you think they accomplish(ed) anything by believing everything has already been done? Such thinking would relegate them to defeat and inaction.

Instead, they see the world as the second visual portrays, full of uncharted territory. Better yet, they take old ideas and make them better, or two bad ideas and combine them into one good idea.

This was news to me. If it was news to you too, then consider this your first great discovery. Now, what can you create in light of this?

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