May 11, 2015
Back in school I had an unapologetic obsession with football: I was a rabid fan by all standards.
Later, in college, my long infatuation with Apple matured to become a relationship. I was obsessed. This came at a cost: my obsession with football went away. The obsession with Apple introduced me to design. To engineering. To media. To culture. And to the many many aspects of human excellence and craftsmanship I follow today, and aspire to match the standards of someday.
My love for Apple remains true. From this company, though, I’ve also learnt the value of perseverance. Apple does all R&D indoors, and maintains a crazy level of secrecy. Apple realises that people working on ideas don’t need fickle customers commenting on their ideas before they’re parts of a product worth shipping. People at Apple roll. The audience witnessing their effort is small, yet appreciative of the effort, with eyes on the future and what the idea can become.
A small audience is great, and probably the best thing that can happen to you as someone working on an idea. A small audience gives you the liberty to take time and get things right. You can hone your skills in front of them, and they’re going to tell you when you can do something better.
I learnt of the importance of a small audience when I started taking photos on my phone and sharing them. I had no idea what I was doing, but it was something I was sufficiently interested in. I would’ve failed without even trying if a lot of people told me I actually sucked in the beginning. The suggestions mattered.
Now, I want to try to middle (occasionally). It’s what Fred Wilson and Seth Godin do. Day in day out. It’s an act of perseverance. I can’t match their insight nor their experience — experience which spans the entirety of my age on this planet — but I can try to do my own thing and figure it out as I go.
The best part? Almost no one is watching.