How to miss the point of life and business completely…
Just read a great idea today by +Chris Brogan today.
In “Seth Godin Said It Already,” he talks about the complaint that some people love to make about our ideas sounding similar what someone before us said. I call it the disease of keeping track of who-said-what-first.
It is a a tactic that un-smart people use to sound relevant and intelligent in a conversation that’s otherwise over their heads. The tactic is used in maybe 5% of all comments on anything of note on the web.
Nothing intelligent to contribute to a conversation? Just tell the author their ideas sound like they were copied from someone else. THAT will make you sound smart and win you new friends, right?
Chris has a line in this post that I just can’t get out of my head. It redirects the archivists and record-keepers of “who said what first” to the real point in all of “this” we’re doing (you know, human history, writing, thinking, social media, blogging, keeping track):
“We are finding each other. Through all this mess, we are finding each other. We are building this all together. We are crafting themes about our world that matter to us and we’re creating in and around each other.”
Chris has offered us all an eloquent reason for why we chew on ideas after they’ve been offered by someone before us. If we aren’t allowed to talk about and pass on really good information and ideas (because they are deep, important, and worth getting out to more people) then we don’t have much else to say or do anymore. Plus, people like Seth Godin get their cues and ideas from other people before them as well.
It is really, seriously difficult to figure out who said what first. Even more difficult to determine why that matters so much to some people. This is a world-class way of missing the point, every time.
When we pick on people who are expanding, growing, and building on top of foundational ideas, we’re holding down humanity. If idea people and creators ever begin to feel like they cannot or should not say or write about anything that comes close to the ideas of those before them, we’re pretty much done here. Like, done with human evolution, done here.
For all you bloggers, idea people, and writers who inspire your readers to act, thrive, succeed and create: don’t let the wet blankets of humanity force you to stop exploring ideas started by others. Contrary to what some might assume, not everyone has heard all of Seth Godin’s or Chris Brogan’s stuff. Repeating and adding to great ideas and information is how this whole thing works. This is how ideas spread.
Keep up the good work everyone! (Wonder who said that first?)