Why Being Wrong Produces Your Next Breakthrough Idea

by Tak Hikichi

If you visited Japan or even lived in Japan, I suspect you’ve never been to Aomori prefecture.  300px-Japan_equirectangular_projectionAomori is much like North Dakota in the United States.  Unless you have very good reasons to visit, it’s not anywhere you go out of your way. It’s the most northern prefecture, just south of Hokkaido where the snowy city of Sapporo is located.

Mesa can be like that — unless you have very good reasons to visit, people won’t come.  But, of course, more people mean more tourism and cashflow for the city.  So what can a city like Mesa do to attract more people (and do it cheap)?

Build something that gets people to talk about.  But it cannot be anything boring because that won’t get anyone to talk about.  By “boring”, I mean, it cannot be museums, ballparks, theaters, and all other stuff that other cities already own.  Those buildings are too safe, and since people in different cities already have those, they won’t come out of their way to Mesa, not worth visiting unless the city builds something spectacular.

Who has money for building anything like that?    Mesa has no money to waste.

So here is an idea.  Gather artists from all over Mesa and have them create something worthwhile others to come  see.  To make this work, it has to be something so unusual, so unconventional, so extraordinary and so “wrong” in the eyes of the most majority.  Too many cities are afraid to build something like this, they’re too afraid of what others think of them, and too afraid to appear wrong.

Below is the picture from Aomori’s rice paddy.  It’s the pictures of Napoleon and local legendary Samurai lord. This move is bold, refreshing and worthwhile mentioning.  It hardly costs any money to maintain it, but draws people from other cities to come see it.  It takes art work of crop planting, planning, strategy to accomplish, but the efforts will be well worth it.
photocredit : www.pinktentacle.comWhen an organization, community, people are too afraid to be wrong, nothing special happens.  They’ll play safe and wait for others to first experiment the idea. But being wrong is the easy part, getting others to embrace the idea is the difficult part.

Everyday, would-be-breakthrough ideas are rejected by people who worry about their jobs, and every time this happens, organizations, cities, brands stop growing, become stagnant, boring and eliminated.

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