Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Dan Pallotta, who is an entrepreneur and activist as well as a humanitarian. It’s a pleasure to have conversations with thought leaders around the world. Everybody needs inspiration from time to time, and nothing is better than receiving a boost of energy from a friend. Here are some words Dan shared with me:
“Be ridiculous. You’re not maximizing your organization’s potential if you don’t be ridiculous. Everything in the world that makes us say “Wow!” was created by an absurd human being who had an impossible idea. It is taught that wisdom is prudence. It is the opposite. It’s the opposite. The most complex things I’ve ever seen, the most clever solutions to the most technical challenges in history-all of it was because someone was ridiculous. Ridiculousness is what truly tests us. Stretches us. It forces us to use all of our intelligence, creativity, strength, and fortitude.
“Anything less than our true potential for intelligence and creativity, strength, fortitude, and strength is left on the table and never to see the daylight of day.”
The most outrageous ideas work.
Dan is right. It’s okay to be ridiculous. It’s something I have done many times, and it has worked for me in the creation of various brands and businesses. The U.S. has become a leader in innovation and business leadership for generations by having the boldest idea and being determined to execute it. Dan stated that the idea of America was created by Europeans who moved to another continent to build a nation. Many of our nation’s mothers and forefathers were told by others that they couldn’t do it.
I’m willing to bet that Benjamin Franklin was misunderstood by some Frenchmen during his time in France at the French royal court, keeping them involved in funding the American Revolutionary War.
Ridiculously audacious companies
Entrepreneurs and leaders who had big ideas and decided to take risks and see what they could do with them have created some of the most successful companies. These companies include:
Thinkmodo has produced some of the most outrageous video mashups in the world, which have become viral marketing companies for other businesses.
Factual is aiming to become the most extensive data repository in the world. Factual already holds the data information for 70 million businesses worldwide.
Goldieblox felt it was time for gender equality in the toy business and placed an advertisement on the Super Bowl in less than two years.
Icon Aircraft created a flying vehicle that looks like a car. It was intended to be sold to the public and therefore had to be easy to operate.
Eventbrite wanted to be a productive and happy company. It lowered its attrition rate by 5 percent in Silicon Valley. The rate in Silicon Valley is 14%.
One of the greatest tragedies in business and life is that so many people are gifted with great ideas for new products, services, or companies. They then start to talk to people who tell them it won’t work. It is important to remember that many people like to be safe. It’s not easy to take the risk and put yourself out there, especially if it’s something others don’t understand or appreciate. The alternative has led to the world being littered with ridiculous ideas that could have worked – if that person chose to ignore everyone else.