“Someone proposes an idea that sounds crazy, most people dismiss it, then it gradually takes over the world.“
Great things start from great ideas. Most people first reject an idea that seems outlandish, but with time, it becomes the norm.
It’s reasonable to say that the vast majority of seemingly outlandish ideas are bad and should be ignored. It shows their ineptitude and lack of knowledge.
But if they’re offered by professionals or domain experts in the relevant field of study, even if the idea sounds farfetched, the domain expert will know the extent. And yet, it is what they are proposing. If they know something you don’t, it means they have an advantage over you. For the most part, it’s probably a result of deep subject experience. Such ideas are not only risky to ignore, but they may also be intriguing in their own right.
The success of these concepts is not assured. Only excellent bets with a high enough anticipated value are required. Chances are that these improbable ideas are more likely to succeed than those that fail.
One of the reasons is that most people are much too conservative in their views on the subject. Even those who come up with innovative ideas don’t realise how important they are at first. But because of this, their ideas have already been through a very strict screening process before they are shown to the general public.
When confronted with such a concept, the best course of action is to remain open-minded and ask as many questions as possible. Why does this rational and intelligent individual come up with an idea that is so out of the ordinary? Is it you, or are they, who is to blame for this? It’s one of the two of you. You should know if you’re wrong since it would indicate a flaw in your worldview. Even if they’re wrong, it should be intriguing to find out why.
Another reason is jealousy. Reputation and money may both rise along with a unique idea once it is put forward and becomes successful. True to human nature, some people will feel jealous. This probability of success induces jealousy, which manifests as the wrong idea.
Some individuals ignore fresh ideas since it’s a way to seem more intelligent. It’s not uncommon for a new concept to seem flimsy when it’s initially proposed. A new idea is fledgeling, and on the other hand, knowledge is full-grown. People who are unaware of the imbalance in the power dynamic will consider anybody who launches a scathing assault on a fresh idea to be intelligent.
Another factor is the disparity in rewards between people who develop new ideas and those who fight them. Working on something that will only succeed 10% of the time but may make things 10 times better. Attacking new ideas, on the other hand, has very consistent benefits, and these attacks seem to be nearly as good no matter what they are aimed at.
New ideas may be attacked by those who have a stake in the old ones. Darwin’s sharpest detractors were churchmen. Some people devote their whole lives to a single notion. When a person is accused of being untrue or outdated, they experience a sense of danger.
Just because an idea comes from the other side doesn’t mean it’s not worth considering. An idea should never be dismissed because of the person who suggested it.
There are many examples. SpaceX is a case in point. When Musk suggested a reusable space rocket, there were a lot of naysayers, but experience has shown otherwise.
Even Darwin’s theory of evolution was ridiculed initially. Even when Siddhartha first launched Coffee Day, people questioned why anyone would pay Rs 30 for a cup of coffee.
As Paul Graham aptly says,
“If you’re nice, as well as wise, you won’t merely resist attacking such people but encourage them. Having new ideas is a lonely business. Only those who’ve tried it know how lonely. These people need your help. And if you help them, you’ll probably learn something in the process.”