My friend, Evelyn Rodriguez has a great post this morning on her blog, based on a quote that I love:

"Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it's from Neptune."

- Noam Chomsky

I love this quote, because it is a good reminder that it is not always easy to make your unique contribution...as important as it is to do so. The organization, community, neighborhood and family that you are a part of, will only have the healthy and unique culture that it has the potential for, if you and the other members are each making your unique contribution to it. We all know of organizations and communities that have really vibrant and engaging cultures...and those cultures exist because people have, over time, contributed their unique ideas and passions…each of which contributes to the shared culture there.

While this may make perfect sense to most of us, the thing to keep in mind is that most organizations and communities do not quickly reward the unique contributions that they in fact need to evolve and move forward. Consider the automobile, air travel, the personal computer, cell phones, weblogs…all very “normal” and taken for granted parts of our society today…each of these things were at some time considered “crazy”, “absurd”, “unrealistic” to all but a small handful of individuals. In fact, many of the relevant so-called experts were among those quickest to write off these new ideas.

Men might as well project a voyage to the Moon as attempt to employ steam navigation against the stormy North Atlantic Ocean.
- Dr. Dionysus Lardner (1793-1859), Professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy at University College, London.

They will never try to steal the phonograph because it has no `commercial value.
- Thomas Edison (1847-1931)

This `telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a practical form of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.

- Western Union internal memo, 1878

Television won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.
- Darryl F. Zanuck, head of 20th Century-Fox, 1946.

Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.
- Dr. Dionysus Lardner (1793-1859), Professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy at University College, London.

There is not the slightest indication that [nuclear energy] will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.
- Albert Einstein, 1932.

Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.
- Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), ca. 1895, British mathematician and physicist

There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.
- Kenneth Olsen, president and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.

How crazy these perspectives now seem to us in 2009…and remember, these are the perspectives of “experts” and “thought-leaders”. It can be frustrating and disheartening to be told by peers that our idea is absurd, but nearly crushing when told that by someone who is a leader in the field. One of the important learnings from this is that when our idea or question is rejected, it is not necessarily about the merit of the idea...regardless of the experience or expertise of the person rejecting it. Communities and organizations have a tendency to reject change and new ideas...not just the bad ones. Someone recently told me that "people tend to prefer old problems to new solutions."

So...as we begin a new day, a new week, a new month and a new year...hold fast to that idea, passion, dream, or question of yours. It would appear that the ideas we have that seem the most outlandish may over time prove to be the most significant. And if you are not hearing that you are "out of your mind", on a fairly consistent basis (or from Neptune)…you may not be adding much value to the culture around you and you may not be being true to yourself.

Neptune is the place to be!

-from www.OurTimeToAct.com

Views: 58

Comment by Maureen Sharib on January 5, 2009 at 11:22am
"...the thing to keep in mind is that most organizations and communities do not quickly reward the unique contributions..."

This is so true and why so many fall away from missions begun. When you create a blog or a company or anything you're not going to get alot of business/comments/inputs/hurrahs right away -you have to work at it and work at it and work at it and work at it...you have to keep trudging along.

It is so true that saying about building something that they will come to. They will but it takes time and time is the most precious commodity. Some people attribute their success to the fact that they just kept "showing up." I believe in that premise sincerely.
Comment by Shawn Lacagnina on January 5, 2009 at 1:06pm
There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.
- Kenneth Olsen, president and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.


This one always amazes me and if you see the picture of computers back then ... yes all the way back in 1977 (agh)... it gives some perspective. Good insight beats great ideas everytime.

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