A reflection on hate week.

Couple of weeks ago i thought the internet was just fulla the old hate speak.

People were savaging Paul Graham without remorse (no url available: people have retracted so many criticisms), because he dared to share some code he'd been working on.

Ruby on rails was getting savaged, with the kind of vigour that only a new year can bring. Joel Spolsky was being taunted with agist remarks, because he didn't like one of google's incubation projects.

I agree and disagree with most of the sentiments expressed.

Back to that in a moment ... more important: i've recently been reading about great australian inventions. And every story has the same crazy pattern!

Crazy pattern is this:

  • dude sees a real need and invents something that answers it perfectly.
  • shares the idea with industry leaders and people who share that problem
  • they slam him, ridicule him, and just generally want to smash his face in for wasting time and attention on such a ridiculous problem.
  • either: he proves them right on his death bed or more often:
  • he dies, alone and poor, but his successor proves that the ideas were sound

Even in so-called rational, logical industries (like science and engineering) these things occur again and again!

Let me repeat that, in case it's new to you: even very intelligent scientists and engineers, like you and me, continually dismiss and disregard important breakthroughs in our fields.

No, really. Continuously. We dismiss ideas more readily than less intelligent people. it's our blessig and our curse.

Again, the classic quote is:

"Don't worry about people stealing an idea. If it's original, you will have to ram it down their throats."

I was thinking today: maybe some ideas at work that have been dismissed recently were actually cleverer than "the group" realised. Group think is a seductive and terrible thing. And i wish i had time to concentrate on timesnapper, 24/7. Or failing that, to blog about creativity 24/7. The only real lesson is:

accept ALL criticism. but take NONE of it to heart.


My book "Choose Your First Product" is available now.

It gives you 4 easy steps to find and validate a humble product idea.

Learn more.

(By the way, I read every comment and often respond.)

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