April 23, 2012
Instagram, the phenom of an app, was started from the seed of an idea. One day, Kevin Systrom decided to take his passion for photography and make it useful for other consumers. And, while this ultimately made him a billion dollars, at its inception the idea was simple yet profoundly positive: He took something he loved and used it to enhance the desire of people to document their lives and become increasingly connected.
Each of us has the option in life to create something that adds value to our lives and the lives of others, or to sit back and simply consume. The latter requires little to no effort, while the former requires an idea and bravery.
Each and every one of us is filled to the brim with plans and ideas. The difficulty sometimes lies in activation. Ideas are very personal. From the start, they only exist in the mind of the individual. They become progressively more public as the creator erases self-doubt and becomes more firmly rooted in the power of their idea. Some decide to wait for the validation of others, and some plow forward and trust that their passion will be enough. I am convinced that those who move forward without validation become the most successful.
Now, if you have an idea and you’re brave enough to fail, consider one more thing: how will you affect other people? This applies to anyone who has plans to pursue their passion, whether that is music, filmmaking, medicine, law or environmental policy. Step outside of yourself and consider your creative karma. Whatever you choose to create, your work will have an expansive reach. And, assuming that you want to have a positive effect, make sure that your idea has the potential to do so. If not in the best interest of others, then perhaps consider that what you create will come back to you.
If you’re looking for a little inspiration as you take a chance on your ideas:
Robert Krulwich 2011 Berkeley School of Journalism Commencement Speech: here
Fast Company: The Dirty Little Secret of Overnight Successes: here