Businesses, like everything else in the world, typically follow certain formats, traditions, and routines, that have been well established in the industry at large. This is natural, since there are only a limited number of ways in which things can really be made to work properly, so why not do what you know for a fact does work?
Of course, being too conventional in your professional life leads to certain issues of its own, not least of all a lack of innovation. Too much conventionality might have meant, for example, that new browser security technologies and systems like Isla isolation would have never come about.
Sometimes, it pays to shake up your professional preconceptions a little bit, and think wacky thoughts.
Here are a few reasons why.
Good ideas are typically hidden among crazy ideas
Genius and madness are two sides of the same coin, as people have been saying for centuries now. Creativity, by its very nature, involves exposing yourself to all the weird ideas that might be floating around your mind, and playing with them until you stumble upon one that might actually have promise.
If you are too conventional and rigid in your approach to your professional life, you may not be able to find the same gems of innovation that you would if you were willing to think outside the box, try strange and nuanced approaches, and experiment a bit.
And that experimentation is a major part of this entire equation. Because, to filter out the good ideas from the crazy ones, you generally need to put them to the test, directly, and see how things play out.
Life is more fun and interesting when you are continually pushing the envelope
Let's face it – when you are doing everything in a strictly conventional manner, it's pretty easy to get bored, and to feel that things just aren't "dynamic" enough to keep you entertained.
On the other hand, when you're continually pushing the envelope and exploring new ground, life is just a good deal more interesting, and likely a good deal more fun, too.
Doing unusual things in your professional life, and seeing how they play out, invites in a little bit of uncertainty, and consequently allows for a more entertaining day-to-day work life.
Yesterday’s solutions can’t necessarily handle tomorrow’s problems
In any given industry, and in society in general, things are always in the process of changing – largely as a result of the innovation of people who do push the envelope and play around with wacky ideas.
If you are unwilling to shake things up a little bit, abandon your current preconceptions, and "think wacky thoughts," you will have to rely primarily on yesterday's solutions, in order to deal with an ever-growing range of increasingly more complex problems.
If, for example, antivirus technology wasn't constantly adapting, it would quickly be rendered defunct and obsolete – because viruses are always developing and taking on new and more irritating and destructive forms.
In other words, yesterday's solutions can't necessarily handle tomorrow's problems.
Of course, you could always wait for someone else to come up with the solutions, and then take advantage of them once they're tried and tested. But it's unlikely that you would be leading your industry, and making a great success of your business, by doing things this way all the time.
Walter G. is a software engineer, startup co-founder, former CTO of several tech companies and currently teaches programming for a coding bootcamp. He has been blogging for the past 5 years and is an avid BMX rider, bio-hacker
and performance enthusiast.
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