That Will Never Work
“Denette has never built a boat and never sailed one, but one day, he decided to put his life savings into scratch-building a 38’ wooden sailboat and sailing it around the world. He’s not even sure he’ll like sailing, but he’s anxious to find out.”
This story reminds me of one of my first jobs in the arts where it was a joke to say “that will never work” about doing anything different than how it was done before. Surprising, because ostensibly we were working to challenge the status quo.
Building your own boat to sail around the world before you even know how to sail is an example of betting the farm if we’ve ever seen one. While there isn’t much strategic foresight at work (no scanning or scenarios to be seen!), there is definitely a vision. That vision attracted a community. But it took time — two years before their first viral YouTube hit started bringing in the Patreons.
With any transformative seed on the horizon, there are always (too) many reasons to say “that will never work.” But sometimes it just takes time.
How many projects that would have created a more beautiful world died because of “that will never work,” or because they couldn’t get the funding to sustain them to that inflection point? There’s probably no magic formula or strategy for getting to that point, where “that will never work” changes into “how can I help?” But there must be things we can do to make that inflection point more likely. (Maybe this is where you could use some foresight.)
What I will take away from this video is this: you have to share your vision.
To find the 1,000+ pounds of lead for the keel of their boat, every time Denette met someone he asked them if they knew where he could find some lead. And eventually, someone did.
No one can help you unless you ask.