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You can’t prove ‘new’

Outside of start-up ventures, we’re all, in a way, venture capitalists. We try to maintain a balance between analysis, prediction, and blind faith when deciding what to do and what to avoid – and then, of course, how diligently to do each. But the difference in people’s life paths is often determined by their own tolerance for the obvious risk in branching away from the status quo to do something ‘new.’

The big question then becomes: How compelled are you to gather preexisting data to prove something may work before embarking on your journey?

Well, it’s time to be honest… and a little risky. Why?

As Roger Martin, the Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, once said, “The two most dangerous two words to innovation are ‘prove it,’ because nothing new can be proven in advance. It can only be proven over the passage of time.”

Too many people want ‘idea proof’ before investing time, money, and energy. But proving something that doesn’t yet exist is a futile pursuit because ‘new’ cannot be data-mined. The reality is, there is no proof, only probability – and much of this probability is influenced by the number of times we try, learn, and adapt.

The act of doing is more important than proving; yet is some strange way, doing is the best path to proving.

Be a Maverick,

– Kent

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