Big Ideas vs. Small Ideas

A big idea is world changing. Also, a big idea rarely gets implemented.

I’m in the middle of a big idea as we speak. I’m driving my car through a big idea right now: Uber. It’s not a profitable idea yet. Uber doesn’t make a profit, but attracts a lot of investment because many people identify with this big idea that will forever change urban transportation. It does. It works. It’s the foundation for a new fast moving economy and the governments have a hard time keeping up with the speed of these changes.

Big ideas influence the power balance nowadays more than ever. Actually, only those few ideas that people transform into reality.

How about the small ideas? Does size matter?

I think it matters more if it’s a good idea, big or small. How do you know it’s a good idea from the start? One of the indicators is the reaction of others, especially those that love and care for you: family and friends. Don’t expect a direct correlation between presenting your idea and positive reaction. We are selfish creatures and there is no better benchmark than the way those around you react to a good idea you have. A good idea will change you first and will also change the way you interact with those around you. It should create discomfort for everybody. There is no smoke without a fire. If they willingly agree with it, you should worry. It’s a bad sign.

When you decide to focus on one of your ideas, because your knowledge and gut feeling scream is the right one, a wonderful extinction event follows. A good idea and your decision to implement it will change who you are. You become focused. Your number of actions and interactions narrows down dramatically. Everything not related to your project gets postponed or no access. Those close to you will be the first to experience the change and be frightened of it. We are selfish little grains of sands after all. And we resist change.

It is rare to find a friend or family member that will just say: go for it! I am one of those persons because I thrive on change and enjoy seeing my friends following their dreams. I do this because I was blessed with a mother that supported me unconditionally in every stage of my life. No matter what I wanted or done, no matter how unrealistic were my expectations with regards to my project, she always was there saying: “OK. Do it!”

Is good to have a raving fandom, but you should expect or even desire to experience firsthand a lot of discomfort and disapproval from those close to you. The way people react it’s the first clue your idea might be good. It is also the first trial by fire you will go through. It’s the moment when you must not waiver. Your mind and heart combined should be a turbo engine and move you forward or you’ll just return to the status quo that makes all of your friends happy.

The farther from friend and closer from acquaintance is the one listening to your idea, the less strong the reaction is. With a higher degree of separation, the people’s motivation is less related to an emotion and more related with having control and gaining more for themselves. Nothing wrong with that, but also irrelevant in defining your idea as good or not.

Resistance to change from those closest to you is a fortuitous beginning. If you have the willpower to move forward, you made the first step towards the new you. A better you even if you fail.

It’s not easy. You’ll have to add in the concept of respect or lack off. Insert a healthy dose of disrespect towards the opinion of everybody including people you would normally respect and follow. Nobody lives in your own skin and has to experience the joy of success, the pain of failure, and the torment of doubt. It is your inner-verse. You are alone with your decision and you must act upon it or back down.

Failure is acceptable and can be added to lessons learned. Failure is knowledge. Giving up before you failed makes you a loser in your own eyes. This is bad.

I turn off the Uber app on my phone, park the car, and go back to my laptop and my plans for my future.

Short disclaimer: The Journal of an Uber Driver is a work of fiction.
Long disclaimer: The literary exercise to define a nowadays character for a novel led me to create these 25 blog posts. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. Any opinion expressed about Uber should not be interpreted as having a negative connotation. I admire the company as an incumbent of the platform economy and I am a registered Uber driver for research purposes.