Thinking Just One Degree Differently

When I was in Zurich I met a Swiss student who is starting his own clothing brand company and is already selling t-shirts to peers. I encouraged him to continue on his entrepreneurial path and he told me something that really rang true: “All it takes is thinking just one degree differently from everyone else.” It reminded me of a piece of advice my old mentor Anthony More told me: “Don’t think outside of the box – people who do are crazy. Just expand the box in which you think.”

Let’s take the never ending quest to come up with new ideas. All too often I see people who exhaust their energy (and confidence) by searching for the next world-changing idea. Maybe they’ll throw up their arms and say “All the good ideas are taken!” Yep! Most new ideas are just combinations of existing ideas or it is looking at an existing idea just a little bit differently. Brainstorming – and entrepreneurship – doesn’t have to be this arduous task where if you’re not some mad genius you fail. It’s actually much cleaner and simpler (“work smarter, not harder”) in my opinion. Think about things just one degree differently and you may be pleasantly surprised. Now…HOW do you think about things one degree differently? That’s a subject for another time!

One Response to Thinking Just One Degree Differently

  1. Tyler Willis says:

    Hey Ben,

    My brother turned me on to your blog. This particular article caught my eye. That’s exactly the correct way to look at the problem of making a new venture work.

    There was recenty a podcast released with a speech by given by Steve Wozniak at gnomedex 4.0

    This is a long and involved speech but one of the things I really liked were reflections on Steve Jobs and his attitude and ideas. As well as Wozniak’s passion for efficient use of available materials. He’s a fanatic about perfect product design.

    It’s no surprise that when you include efficient production with a slightly different business pov (point of view) you get a major success.

    Something to keep in mind. BTW the link for the speech is link to itconversations.com

    Tyler Willis

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