In 2004 Elon Musk simply said, “I wish.”
He wished he could drive a car that didn’t use gasoline, was super fast & fun to drive, and, in his vision… was SEX on wheels. He started looking for that car in 2003 after cashing out of PayPal, and finally found the “two guys in the garage” that were making the beginnings of that car. And today… the second iteration of that wish, the Model S, is the only car to ever receive a perfect score from perennially persnickety publication that is Consumer Reports. A wish (and the million subsequent failures) became a new reality, shifting all of the curves on the highway the status quo was driving on.
Really, if you look at any product or service that you love today, they all started because some investor, or inventor, or entrepreneur, one day, said… “I wish.”
Want to send your enemies a tube full of glitter waiting to explode all over the room anonymously? Yep — there’s a site for that now. Want to have a car waiting for you outside your door in under 5 minutes by simply tapping on your whizbang smart phone a couple of times? Done. Self-destructing messaging service? No one makes that… maybe we should try. Yeah, that’s a $10 billion idea today. A headset that let’s you experience a whole new world in virtual reality?… surely you jest.
To me that is what is so amazing about human beings… we can actually wish & will things into reality for better (and for worse, but let’s stay positive here).
We, as humans, can literally create a whole new reality that not only moves us forward, but can actually shift the curve of our potential as a global village. We have, buried within us, enough potential to change a whole city; even if just for a day, to make a little kid who has leukemia and a wish– feel like he’s Batman for a day.
Wishes like these usually involve breaking a lot of rules… and saying “we can and will”, even when most say “you can’t, and won’t.”
In 1949 a new small marketing agency decided to break ALL the rules about how conventional advertising should appeal to a customer. In “overnight success” fashion (ten years later) this tiny new agency, gave birth to the “Think small.” campaign for Volkswagen in 1959. They singlehandedly created the “soft sell”, using wit and humor. They took a small foreign car that lived in a big American car world; arguably an ugly car that was commissioned by Hitler of all people, and “changed the very nature of advertising — from the way it’s created to what you see as a consumer today”. And, in fact, the campaign was so successful that AdAge still calls it the best advertisement of the 20th century. Yes, even better than the Super Bowl’s talking baby.
So, what does all this mean to you and me, the mere mortals? Maybe we should say, “I wish” more often. Maybe you and I should think big, and Think small. “Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”