We all develop filters for the noise and clutter we encounter in every day life. These filters protect us, allow us to concentrate, and generally shield us from being bombarded.
In biology, there is a concept known as homeostasis. Homeostasis is the ability for the body to adjust what it considers ‘normal’ to the current conditions, giving it an ability to detect changes in those conditions.
If it’s hot, your body adjusts its normal state to account for the heat. It can then detect if it gets hotter or colder. The same holds true for light, sound, touch, taste and smell.
In business (and I’ve found this to be especially true with entrepreneurs), I’ve noticed that people have developed a sort of ‘are you serious’ filter when they hear a newbie entrepreneur describe how they are going to set the world on fire. While friends may be generally encouraging, they are also inherently skeptical. And why would you blame them? ‘Normal’ for them is to hear a lot of talk, but witness very little follow-through. We’ve all seen and heard of plenty of great ideas. But of all those great ideas, how many are ever acted upon? And of those that are actually acted upon, how many of those ideas are really, really pursued, through the inevitable hard times in any startup? The answer is, not many.
Life itself I believe has a way of really challenging the conviction of any great yet unimplemented idea.
It reminds me of a question Phil Becker asked me before he invested in Ping. Sitting in his living room, he asked me, “…are you really serious about this?” That was a wise question.