I don’t think if you have any idea for a product, service, or dream that if it doesn’t work out, you don’t feel a twinge of defeat when you take the time to debrief and ask, “what went wrong?” in some cases, what went wrong is something you have no control of, for example, the events of 9-11 decimated a lot of people in entertainment and leisure. I think when you work in the lab, you will fail pretty much each day with the brainstorm ideas. the process of success is actually mired in a lot of failures.
each day, you take 100’s of things are put into a pot to create a bigger idea, yet, the vast majority of time the ideas are not the right size, shape, process, inefficient, too big, too small, ahead of its time, not possible yet, practical, or simply costs far more than any benefit that can be achieved. it doesn’t mean you stop and go, “oh well, that didn’t work, but rather, “here is some things that didn’t work out. what can I learn from it all and apply it to all the other things?”
over time, it will work out, usually unlike you planned, and with far different ideas and results. the entire agrowbox, to agrowvillage, to agrowspace is such a transition over years of work that went from the simplicity of seeds in dirt to full blown multi-crop closed environment, anywhere on the planet, year round food production. most of it was cobbled together because there really were no proven test cases over the years. “let’s try this?”
i remember many days cutting trees and taking coffee breaks on one particular tree stump to figure out "how" one could live/work on top of that mountain.
years ago, there was a great audio engineer that I was talking to about getting some of his companies loudspeakers in 2001, we had the idea, knew what we wanted it to do for immersive audio, we had the visuals systems down, and I explained that I had no idea if any of this would work in the proposed unconventional layout. I didn’t want people to hear audio, I wanted them to experience it far beyond surround sound and be immersed into it. ok, so we were ambitious as the long term goal was it was all “live” and the band could control where and how they wanted the audio to move during the show.
I digress, he looked at the idea and said, “sometimes, you simply have to set it all up, and try…you just don’t know, no matter how well you plan or think.” I call this step the, “light the fuse” moment where you have put all that time, money, effort, resources into an idea and have no guarantees. well, you do have one guarantee, it is that something will happen.
then there are a few ideas and projects in life that are more personal in nature, like I always wanted this work/live lab in the middle of nowhere, yet, with technology, I could be linked to the planet. I thought the location for the place was done and I remember all the mornings lugging up chain saws and carrying loads of equipment on my back up the mountain. the view from the top was simply spectacular. that place is gone now, and I will have to think about where the creator wants me to go now, but there is a bit of a twinge in my heart, as I remember how many solutions I had to come up with for an off the grid home/lab that was really a small agrowvillage.
I won’t cry many tears, as I remember the bears, mountain lions and all the strange things that had to be done for learning about drainage, roads, water/cisterns/wells, power, food prep and preservations, enough power to run machines, and even a path to walk up and down the land with various little structures if one needed to get away. at the bottom, there was the space for three little cabins as guests could come to get away or help work on an idea. the land was simply beautiful.
what was the value of the land? well, it gave me all the solutions to agrowspace. cost me a tone of time and whatever resources I had, but what it did was create a place where one really can live/work/grow anywhere on the planet and NOT have to be a pioneer for a quality of life.
when I think back to my first really cool toy. it was a hand held light toy that the entire arena could be doped with that during the Disney show we could take control of it. this was long before cell phones, in a time when a cigarette lighter was what people used. we made the toy, It worked, we even had to model a half of an arena with Christmas lights so executives could grasp, “the toy becomes part of the show, and when the kid takes it home, it operates normally…sort of a magic light for the show.”
I can’t tell you how many people simply could not go from one light to 20,000 of them working, and moving patterns around the arena. but we learned how to do it, and know how to do it.
maybe that is the motivation. as an inventor, you don’t like to fail, yet, you will fail a lot with ideas. I don’t think I have come up with and pitched a really stupid idea like the one that said, “we need to put a cannon in every classroom to blow the walls out of schools in case someone starts shooting a gun.” but I have had my share of moments when you realize “ok, this isn’t the time, place, space, or the market isn’t ready for this.”
it is a bit like “where is home?” I guess the creator of the universe keeps testing me to be a bit of a nomad. I am fine with that, so long as I have the technology and tools…my dream has always been a mobile make/invent/lab space. maybe that will become the reality now that there is no idea of a fixed base in place.
disappointed, sure. when you put time, money and effort and have several clear visuals/models/plans and it doesn’t work – it stings. but it also means a bigger door is opening.
welcome to my world. if you want stability, you either have to live a normal life, or be born with a giant trust fund if you want to come up with new ideas and make them reality. what I learned is money does not guarantee any success – rather – it can simply help you grow, or prolong your death.
now….back to the models where we are trying to bash out auto-nutrient-feeders that will cost less and do more. not really something I want to do, but it is needed. I still marvel that I can get up each day, excited with new possibilities, even after so many failures. it is either a sign of perseverance or brain damage. I am not sure which?