Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Default Setting for Anything is Fail.


50% of all businesses fail in the first year, 95% fail within the first five.  Genetic mutations more than often end in debilitation or death.  Scientists spend years failing before they can make a drug to cure a disease.  How any models were built before the Model T?  How many rockets blew up before someone made it go where they wanted it to?

The default setting for anything is failure.  It takes a significant amount of energy to get that setting to success.

Take the simple light bulb.  Its default setting is off, not producing light.  It takes energy to produce that light.  But think about it deeper.  How many different iterations did someone go through before they got a working light?  How many different types of filaments, gases, and coverings did that person have to go through before succeeding?  How much energy was put into that simple creation?

The electricity is the same way.  How many different ways did people go threw to produce it?  How many different storage and transportation methods were tested and rejected?  Look at the debate over AC vs. DC power to the home.  DC technically succeeded; there were towns powered by DC, but despite the advantages that DC brought, it failed to take hold.  Alternating current succeeded where direct current failed.

Most TV shows fail before they even get a pilot.  Most movies are rejected in the script stage.  Most books don't even get to the publisher.  It takes serious effort to make something that will survive to even be shown let alone succeed.

A continuation of this thought says that even things with the correct amount of energy/effort will fail unless the energy is put in the exact right place.

The TV show Firefly had all the effort required put into it to make it an amazing show.  The problem came when it was aired.  The effort was put into getting Fox to make it.  If the effort was put in to another channel, the show may still be airing.

The war on piracy has had enough effort put into it to end world hunger.  Why has it continuously failed?  The effort is being put into the wrong place.  If the effort was put into working around piracy, or even working with piracy, it would have succeeded by now.

Effort also requires the right time.

Fox may have been a perfect place for Firefly a few years before or a few years from now, but it wasn't then.

If the original Star Trek was created today, it would have failed miserably.  It's time was exactly when it was released.  And I'd qualify Star Trek as a success even though it only survived three seasons.

As much as I like Start Trek Enterprise, I think it's a failure.  It was a show after it's time.  If it was aired after the original series but before The Next Generation, it might have succeeded.  It was a good combination between TOS's "monster of the week" and "alien of the week" style and DS9's and Voyager's storytelling and character development.  It was a transitional series that aired after the transition was already made.

So what's the point of all this outside of a defense for Star Trek Enterprise?  Not much.  This is something everyone knew already.  "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right."  "Right place at the right time."  I just don't think anyone has connected them this way before.

If you take anything from this I hope it's "when doing anything, hope to succeed but prepare to fail."

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