Here is something that doesn’t seem to make sense

While reading a paper for one of my business management classes the author mentioned that many of the dotcoms that imploded during the late ’90’s were ahead of the time in their ideas.  “Ahead of their time.”  That is an incredibly interesting take on things.  I have heard that term quite a few times in my life and have never given it much thought.  I suppose I always associated it with good things.  “Ahead of their time” means fostering progressive thought, pushing the envelope, creating avenues so that people could follow behind you.  But used in the context of a failed business or failed venture, “adead of their time” is a huge misnomer.  To truly be ahead of the time, a person would need have the ability to recognize his or her limitations of technology and culture.  There is a certain natural evolutionary aspect to being ahead of the time.  You can’t be so far beyond the here and now that your ideas become viewed as crazy. 

It is believed that Da Vinci had once drawn up the plans for a flying machine.  If I remember correctly it had some kind of pedal and pulley system that allowed for plenty of upward thrust but it didn’t have the right kind of wing technology.  Now imagine if Da Vinci, rather than making paintings and focusing on other kinds of art, had dedicated the entirity of his time to trying to produce this flying machine.  We , today, could have perhaps not had half the pieces of work that DaVinci created.  Now one could probably say, “Yes, Riley.  But with DaVinci comes the contextual conflict of the enlightenment.  Leo’s ideas were born out of the Renaissance.  A time when intellectuals were free to do just that, think, and it would be wrong of you to presuppose what would have happened.”  I agree.  But the over-arching theme is that truly great ideas, revolutionary ideas, ideas before their time, are borne out of the current time and place and are therefore carried out in due time. 

If one truly has a great idea, then that idea should be good enough to take into account the limitations of today.  Everything else is wishful thinking.


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