Posts Tagged ‘ideas’

By designer Adam Katz -feat 1500 spray painted plas­tic army men stuck to a New York window

Recently, I have been overwhelmed by people and their emails/blogs/meetings about IDEAS. What they really mean and where this will lead us is a scene in the future and I obviously I have no clue what it looks like. But, for now- I am overloaded, too full with these ideas been thrown my way and too tired to give any of them a fair chance.

Everyone I know has “great projects lined up” and is working on several “great ideas” but I’m hoping that this trend won’t last too long.

If your ideas are born every minute, spoken about in a hundred places and most of them turned into projects, without the “DO or die” effort put into them- they have no reason to succeed. All ideas are good ideas. The ones we call bad ideas are the ones we give up on. And, the most important reason we fail is that we never try enough.

I know a lot of people have told you not to “put all your eggs in one basket”, I beg to differ here- please put them all in one basket! That way you will be able to carry it with ease and take care of it.  Let me share an age old success story with you:

The Battle of Julu

When I first read Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely, I stumbled on the fascinating story of General Xiang, a courageous Chinese general from more than 2,000 years ago.

“Who was General Xiang, and what does he have to do with online business,” you ask?

In 207 BC, General Xiang advanced the small Chu army towards Julu to wage war against the huge Qin army. After crossing the river, he had his troops burn the ships and destroy all but 3 days of supplies, which successfully eliminated any chance of retreat.

Since the Chu army of 30,000 was about to fight the Qin Army of 300,000, you might think Xiang was crazy. However, the results tell a different story. Xiang’s army won nine consecutive battles, and then opposing Qin army surrendered.

What happened here? The theory is, since the Chu army had no other option, they had to win and their fighting demonstrated it. In other words, they put all their eggs in one basket and watched that basket.

Business is no different. When you’re getting started, working on several projects sounds good. However, the odds are against you. Many more young people fail at creating a profitable business than succeed. If you want to be one of the few who do succeed, you’ll need that laser focus you develop when you have no other option. So, focus on one project at a time.

My suggestion to all the youth out there giving birth to a new idea every hour and using your energy into a hundred new projects- STOP right now! Take time to think, live slowly because even if there is no tomorrow- you have lived TODAY- fully.

Diversification is great for someone who has already achieved success and has nothing or very little to lose, but not for YOU if you have just started. I suggest you put all of your eggs in one basket and watch it.


Photo credit: Designer Adam Katz’s contribution to Stefan Sagmeister’s long running and brilliant “Things I Have Learned in My Life” project, featuring 1500 spray painted plas­tic army men stuck to a New York window. The best, most disruptive ideas are always a battle.

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