Challenge the Known & Embrace the Unknown

Today I’ll be preaching from the book of “Kawasaki“. It envolves a parabel which I also encountered in the book of “Reynolds“…

Let me tell you a short story about ice. In the late 1800s there was a thriving ice industry in the Northeast. Companies would cut blocks of ice from frozen lakes and ponds and sell them around the world. The largest single shipment was 200 tons that was shipped to India. 100 tons got there unmelted, but this was enough to make a profit.

These ice harvesters, however, were put out of business by companies that invented mechanical ice makers. It was no longer necessary to cut and ship ice because companies could make it in any city during any season.

These ice makers, however, were put out of business by refrigerator companies. If it was convenient to make ice at a manufacturing plant, imagine how much better it was to make ice and create cold storage in everyone’s home.

You would think that the ice harvesters would see the advantages of ice making and adopt this technology. However, all they could think about was the known: better saws, better storage, better transportation.

Then you would think that the ice makers would see the advantages of refrigerators and adopt this technology. The truth is that the ice harvesters couldn’t embrace the unknown and jump their curve to the next curve.

Embrace the unknown… People tend to be afraid of the unknown, and stick with the known. Yet one should be aware that the world keeps evolving. If one opts to stand still, then it will be passed by natural evolution.

It’s like going to a foreign country and ordering a regular disk (like for instance spaghetti). Appreciate that there are other visions out their and embrace those! At a young age, my father told me a valuable lesson:

Always listen to the whole story people have to say. If you talk yourself, you’ll say things you already know, but when listening you’ll learn new things.

If you keep a strict diet of eating your own dog food, how will you encounter ‘better’ options?

I’m not saying that all change will be good, but the experience you’ll gain will help you further down your road. In the 2005 graduation speech at Stanford, Steve Jobs said:

“None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me.”

Do not fear making mistakes, fear not trying… One must first learn to crawl and afterwards one will learn to walk after a lot of falling/stumbling.

Dare to embrace the unknown, dare to challenge the known.

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One thought on “Challenge the Known & Embrace the Unknown

  1. Now if only the members of the RIAA and similar companies would learn from this message….the world would be a better place.

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