I had written about this point recently in Tech Talk, and was talking about it yesterday with a few friends. My point was that if one wants to do something innovative, it is important to forget the present and dream/live in the future. The present has too many problems which over a longer time-frame are quite irrelevant, and yet we waste a lot of time talking/arguing about them.
We have to create our own world in which we exist, which is somewhat distant from the world in which we live in today. It is not easy to do this because everything around us is in the present — the newspapers, various websites, television. What it means is we have to limit our intake of this type of media.
One way I have found to live in the future is to read many of the tech bloggers and watch their mind-bombs explode with ideas about the future. There is a inventiveness here which is amazing. No one is talking of the Nasdaq or tech slump or wars. People are working to build new things, like children given a new box of Lego pieces.
Of course, one can argue, that one cannot just run away from the present. No. The future exists because of the present. Anyone can manage the short-term or the long-term; what’s needed is to manage both. The problem that I see is that we worry too much about the present and the near-term. On a scale of even a year, what’s happening day-to-day will be easily forgotten. What we need to do is to look more at the big picture — there are a lot of interesting innovations happening in the world, below the surface of the rust that is being seen. Scrape it away, dig deep, and a whole new world beckons.