The first draft of anything is shit

In Mexico we say “Es otro pedo!” to express when something is awesome or so challenging that it blows your mind. So when I’m talking to other entrepreneurs or simply brainstorming through ideas, an exclamation like that is something I’m looking to hear or provoke in others; a sense of challenge.

I believe that when you express an idea that grabs people’s attention it’s always a good sign that you are onto something interesting. It works as a filter for, both, deciding on what to pursue as well as who to leave out. On the last point, there are many people who say “Es otro pedo!” in an uncomfortable way, kind of like saying “I don’t want to do that, it’s too much work”. When this happens, it tells me that they are the type that gets excited about incremental ideas, a sure thing, so are not willing to do something challenging.

Though we are talking about ideas, this last point is very important when it comes to putting a team together because ideas are necessary for innovation, but not sufficient. Factors like the people that conform a team is a higher priority for a great team will transform a mediocre idea into something more interesting that blows people’s minds away.

There is research around human motivation that says that people are motivated by challenges, but it is also a given that there is a deep tendency (and everyday facts) for people and organizations to pursue “the sure thing”. So, it’s not going to be easy to find those diamonds in the rough who have the capability, attitude and willingness to take on challenges that don’t have a clear way to reach an outcome.

Bottom line: Ernest Hemingway had a saying “The first draft of anything is shit”. That’s what most work that is put out there looks like; crap. It’s the sure thing that no one remembers. The sure thing is where long-term mediocrity lives. So, if you are serious about doing anything worthwhile, get that message in your head because true innovation makes competition irrelevant; and it takes effort unlike you’ve ever tried.