Monday, April 15, 2013 started as an absolutely perfect day in Boston. But as Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen wrote last week, “In an instant, a perfect day had morphed into something viscerally evil.”
Last Monday – my life, our lives, were forever changed. Bombs went off at the Boston Marathon and ever since, I’ve carried with me a fear and awareness that previously never crossed my mind. I hear a loud bang and assume the worst. I see a bag lying on the ground and can’t help but wonder why it’s there.
Unimaginable events like last Monday’s will have that effect. But in time, it too shall pass. Just like the fear we all felt after 9/11, Columbine, or Virginia Tech. For those of us not directly effected – those of us on the outside looking in – life moves on and while we’ll never forget, a sense of normalcy will return.
Pac Man undoubtedly exists at the summit of classic arcade glory. So when Tyler Neylon was challenged to develop it in one day, it would seem to be absolutely crazy, right?
“My own challenge began when I made a remark about how easy it is today to build the old-school games like Pac-Man. Less than a day, easy, I said. My wife, being skeptical, and I, loving a code crunch, turned this into an official double-dog-dare. I had to do it.”
Tyler got to work, and along the way, discovered quite a few “easter eggs” behind the scenes of the beloved game we all spent entirely too many quarters on during our youth.
“I can’t do it.”
“Everyone thinks I’m crazy.”
“I’m going to fail.”
“Who am I kidding?”
You get an idea and for a brief moment, you think it’s brilliant. But just as quickly, you convince yourself it can’t be done. The moment passes and the idea fades away. It happens time and time again – and perhaps in some ways for good reason (let’s face it if we pursued every wild idea we had we’d never actually get anything done).
But what about the idea that sticks with you? The business you want to start. The thing you want to try. The marathon you want to run. The change you want to create. The goal you want to achieve. The impact you want to have.
Those ideas – that idea – the one(s) that stick with you, that you can’t shake, may seem crazy, but there’s a reason that it won’t go away. It means you’re onto something. It’s a sign that you’ve discovered something that may in fact be crazy, so incredibly crazy that it’s begging to be pursued.
In a recent Inc article, Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote, gave what is probably the best solution to any leader who’s struggling with what is one of the most common problems amongst leaders: Feeling the need to micromanage.
“I made a new rule: Everyone who reports to me has to be much better at doing his or her job than I could ever be.”
My biggest challenge as a business-owner has been letting go of control. Which is funny because being controlled was what I loathed so much about my 9-5 agency job coming out of college. Being told what to do and how to do it by someone else, leaving no room for creativity or suggestion, was the single-biggest motivating factor in my pursuit of starting my own company.