Contrarian= A person who opposes or rejects popular opinion.

If you look at every major industry shift, successful company and major artist, a lot of them were all contrarians.

They did their own thing. They were the opposite of what people thought was good. They went against the grain and won. And what I'm saying is that you should too.

Before AirBnB, could you have imagined going to a stranger's house and sleeping in one of their rooms!? Never. Now 100 million people have.

In a world of Frank Sinatras and Elvis Presleys, this awful singer named Bob Dylan shown through the crowd.

Cars, airplane travel, Uber, VCR's, Lady Gaga, streaming, and on an on. All thought to be crazy ideas that would never work. Until they did...

My question to you: Is your idea too safe?

Are you playing for 2nd or 3rd place? Not many remember 2000's boy bands past NSYNC and Backstreet boys.

Are you trying to oppose a contrarian idea? Beware. The Taxi industry that is rioting against Uber will not win this. And why should they!?

There is a fine line between contrarian and actually crazy. Ride this line. Live in it.

Sometimes you have to take big bets, throw your cards on the table, and see where it takes you.

Becoming Comfortable with Incompetence

I think this is one of the most important things you can do.

Change is one of those things that creates an environment in which you are not an expert. It creates a vulnerability that forces us outside of our knowledge base and comfort zone. You don’t know what you don’t know and that’s scary.

If you don’t like the feeling of incompetence, which most people don’t, you will fight the feeling of change.

How many times have you heard someone say “That’s not how we do it around here?” It’s usually not because they don’t care but it’s because they don’t like feeling incompetent.

And when I talk about incompetence, I don’t mean sloppy bad work. I’m referring to the work that matters. The work that is hard, may fail but also may make the world a better place.

At every level of Soundstripe’s growth, I feel completely incompetent for a time. I don’t know how to be a good manager and leader for a larger group of people. I don’t know how to properly hire people. I don’t know what opportunities to say yes to and which ones to say no to. And each project we do has a chance of failure.

And that’s exactly the white space in which we(I)should be playing. Because it’s not about winning every match and being right 100% of the time. Stephen King has many more flops than wins. Amazon has many more failed business ventures than successes. And all you need is one big hit out of 50 songs to change an artist’s life forever.

Change opens doors. Change takes you where you want to go. Change is what drives innovation and creativity.

So if we want to create an environment of change, we must embrace incompetence.