The Two Best Words in the World: What If?

The other day, I was scrolling through some Facebook comments (mistake #1) on a thread about whether self-driving cars would become mainstream. I was blown away by how the debate wasn't whether they'd happen but what reason would prevail for why they wouldn't. Everyone seemed to jump right to the reasons to NOT believe -- or perhaps they even relished in immediately shooting down the very thought.

I take for granted working in tech and, mainly, with startups my entire career thus far. I think the best part of the startup world is the collective openness to new possibilities. Whereas most people scoff "no chance" at something new and crazy, we say, "what if?"

Damn, I love those two little words so much.

Self-driving cars? No chance they replace regular cars, right? Too much infrastructure and they could crash! "Yeah but what if?"

You're a media company, but you aren't gonna run any ads? That'll never work. "But what if?"

Artificial intelligence? I mean, have you SEEN Terminator? Or... "Yeah, but what if?"

Virtual reality? Augmented reality? Machine learning? Clean energy? Electric vehicles? Noooo chance. "BUT...what if?"

Here's another: WHAT IF you chose to be optimistic? WHAT IF you broke from conventional thinking, if only in your mind at first? WHAT IF you allowed for new possibilities?

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Posted on October 13, 2016 .