“Being called ‘ahead of your time’ means you failed.”
This seems to run contrary to our idea of disruption. The ‘person ahead of their time’ is seen as a true innovator, the under-appreciated thought leader of the space. But what Ted has tapped into here is that disruption is about making change, not just recognizing it. A disruptor knows how to see it, how to convey the need to others, and how to make it happen.
If the timing is not right – the market is just not ready for you – the disruptor has to take on the added steps of making the market ready. They need to not only disrupt, but also move an entire market in their direction. If they are unable to do this, they are ‘ahead of their time’ and they have ultimately failed. Knowing when to disrupt is just as important as knowing what to disrupt.
I like the follow through description here. It is not enough to just inject creative tension, to stand on the sidelines gesticulating wildly as an edge worker. Flow is not enough – you need hustle too. You need to make it happen, where ‘it’ can be personal, departmental, corporate, market , or societal in scale.
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