Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

You Don’t Want To Be #1

The electric light bulb, the telephone, automobiles, airplanes, television. What do all these inventions have in common? Right after they were invented, nobody wanted them.

Which isn’t all strange. At the time, candles, fireplaces, and kerosene lamps fulfilled most of our illumination needs.

We didn’t need telephones because we barely had any friends outside our city or village. The first automobiles were insanely fast, loud and expensive. And there was little desire for television when we already had books and radio.

That leaves us with the one strange boycott of the bunch: airplanes.

Refusing the miracle of flight is absolutely crazy. Why were people against airplanes?

Turns out, people weren’t against airplanes. People just didn’t believe you could sit in an engine powered box and turn into a bird.

In fact, in a 1904 Times interview about whether humans may once fly, a hot-air-balloon tycoon said, “In the very, very, very, very far future there may be flying machines, but not now, not now.” Which the tycoon said a year after the Wright’s first flight.

What was going on?

People were so convinced that flying was impossible, that those who saw the Wrights soaring through the sky thought it was some magic trick. After the invention of the airplane, it took the world almost five years to realize that man had achieved the wonder of flight.

People just weren’t ready.

And we see the same pattern throughout history: the bicycle, the umbrella, electricity, the walkman, Google Glasses—all these inventions were met with great resistance. 

Although we like new, nobody wants something so original, so unique, so off the wall that it’s never been done before. 

If you’re the first, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll find the support you want. That’s why it’s better to go second or even twenty-fourth. Twentythree search engines existed before Google launched

Not only is it easier to steal ideas, but odds are your ideas have been stolen too. 

Any unique idea you have probably already exists. Coming up with a totally original book, app, or product is actually close to impossible.

Which is great. Because now you can focus on creating something remarkable, delightful and important. 

Don’t worry about being first. Worry about whether you can make a difference.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach