Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Within one lifetime that’s gone from being philosophical and rhetorical to proven and solved. The egg came first. Dinosaurs were hatching from eggs millions of years before evolution created the chicken. Sorry if I put a major crack in a favorite conversation starter, but at least we can celebrate a bit of progress. The catch phrase will continue. I regularly work with entrepreneurs, creatives, and innovators – people who have solutions and no money or people with money and questions about what to do with it. Welcome to matchmaking; and just like in the world of romance, there are lots of tenuous steps, defenses, opportunities, and maybe eventually a connection. Now’s a good time for solutions and questions to get together.
There’s another answer to which came first, the chicken or the egg. This evening it is the egg. Someone was nice enough to give me a dozen fresh eggs, which added to the dozen I already had. The supermarket had a good deal on chicken breasts, and I’ve been craving salad that includes some of that. It’s summer and the oven only gets used as necessary. Rather than heat it up twice, I decided to bake some eggs first at about 300 degrees for about 25 minutes, then up the heat for the chicken breasts which will be part of tonight’s dinner and many salads and possibly nachos to come. And yes, I notice switch from using healthy leafy greens to decadent pub grub.
The world needs good solutions. Pick a topic and there is probably something bizarre going on around it. Economists, climatologists, and even politicians are trying to find answers, solutions, or at least strategies because the world is no longer acting the way it did just a few decades ago. My pessimism climbs and my mood sinks when I listen to their problems. My optimism climbs and so does my mood when I listen to the entrepreneurs, innovators, and creatives. (Hence, PretendingNotToPanic.com.)
Entrepreneurs are developing new business models that redefine value as more than money. Strengthening their supportive community creates a more sustainable business. Even though peak profits may never climb as high, they may continue for far longer. At least, that’s the hope.
Innovators are developing new technologies or reinvigorating old technologies to do far more with far less for far more people. That includes smarter farming, more efficient housing, and cleaner transportation. Infrastructure is in retreat, but when it advances again we may manage to replace old solutions with far more appealing versions.
Creatives are developing networks and new ways to communicate that are redrawing the lines around communities. Old national political parties, grand or not, are less likely to be seen as effective as local efforts. Self-governance has a new meaning when it is based on several people mutually supporting each other. One thread I am particularly interested in is from the people who realize the US Constitution was designed to be revised. The Founders knew it would eventually be archaic. I’ve seen initiatives to amend it to shift political pay and therefore influence, and to edit contentious amendments into something clearer. Writers can spot bad writing. Why should we govern by ambiguity?
There’s a bit of a simplification there. I matched entrepreneurs to the economy, innovators to climatology, and creatives to politics. Of course there is a matrix of possibilities. That’s even better. Entrepreneurial politics may not be appealing as creative new economies; but, hey, I could be wrong.
The great frustration is sitting in the middle of the conversations and seeing the struggle between enthusiasm for new ideas and the caution around sources of resources. That’s an ancient struggle. Most new ideas don’t succeed. Fundamental flaws hide easily. Sometimes they aren’t apparent until they’re tried; which means someone who provided the resources subsequently has fewer resources – and probably more caution. Luck is involved, good and bad, which makes it a guessing game regardless of the thought expended at the start. Of course, sometimes that creates unimaginable successes; but that can be hard to remember after a dozen failed projects.
I was lucky enough to run across an unexpected confluence this week. It may not succeed, and yet it may. Three or four businesses in different stages of maturation may have surreptitiously connected to alleviate several sets of worries while providing a new and expanded service to a community that has a demand for it. Maybe. Whether it happens or not, it is a good example of how such events occur. Each was in a chicken or egg situation, but one person’s egg was another person’s chicken. Which, now that I think about it, is how chickens and eggs work.
The issue is less about any one project and more about the need for us to progress. The world doesn’t lack problems. With over seven billion people, the world doesn’t lack new ideas. The worst scenario, though, is letting fear and panic reinforce inaction as if it provided stability. Stability is taking a break. The best way to get through what we’re going through is to keep going.
If you want to help educators learn how to teach better, I know someone to talk to. If you have an invention that needs help, I know someone to talk to. If you want to help, but don’t know how to find (or talk with) the entrepreneurs, innovators, and creatives, I know people. Of course, I enjoy being part of such conversations, so I’ll include myself – partly because I think I can provide value, and partly because connecting people and ideas is a passion of mine. A surprise to me was learning that, according to Facebook’s analysis, I have a network as broad as their CEO’s. I’m still trying to reconcile that with our widely different net worths.
By the way, a short list of ideas includes: my collection of Fresh Ideas, someone who wants to test all of Nikola Tesla’s inventions, a revolutionary new programming language, a novel flying water taxi, various edits to the US Constitution, local food production, senior services, a fascinating twist on yoga, a Holocaust museum exhibit, and you probably get the idea.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Tonight was the blog before dinner, which is ready now; so, I’ll post this and dine in my nicely cooled house. I found a new way to keep the house cool that worked well enough and long enough for the clouds to come in and do an even better job. Sometimes, there’s more than one solution. Sometimes it takes the chicken and the egg. It actually always has taken both – unless you’re a dinosaur.