To walk across a dark room

How do you know if your world is ready for your idea?

Artists, innovators and entrepreneurs face this eternal dilemma. If they are too early, their ideas don’t get adopted. If they are too late, somebody else implements it first. How can you see if an idea’s time has come?

The honest answer is that you can’t. We are all worse at fortune-telling than we think we are.

When staring into the future, we are all making our ways across a room that is pitch dark. The solution is to move forward slowly, one step at a time, groping and feeling our way around the room. If we stand still, we face stagnation. If we run forward, we are sure to trip or bump into something hard and hurt ourselves. Eventually, we make it to the other side.

The only way of knowing whether an idea is ready is to test it through a series of well designed experiments – each of which is significant, but safe enough that you can try something else if it doesn’t work.

Most people stare into the dark void and don’t step forward unless they are sure. The difficult, and more courageous thing to do is to take one step. And another. And another.

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