Have you ever felt like you don’t quite fit in? Haunted by the feeling that you don’t quite belong anywhere? It’s the curse of the innovator, to be living a life at the edges. But here at the edges you can see how culture is itself an invention; we consciously create culture through the stories we tell. Culture is a creative act: if you want to learn about a culture, listen to the stories. If you want to change a culture, change the stories.
In my experience, the longing to innovate often comes from finding yourself in circumstances that just don’t make sense. You see potential where others don’t. Something is broken; and you see a better way to do it. In the classic hero’s journey, the hero must overcome her fear of the unknown, and enter into a new and unfamiliar realm. It sounds heroic and all, but the truth is, being alone, in unfamiliar territory, can be a pretty lonely and scary path. You must leave the place of comfort and home. And then, once you’ve transformed, you begin the long walk home.
You’re probably as fascinated with innovation as we are. Why do some mediocre ideas stick, while other world-changing ideas get lost in translation?