The Power of Good People and Good Ideas (or Not)

Hugh MacLeod (for the non-Web 2.0 geeks among my readers) is a very interesting guy who has spoken about the idea of "social objects"–things you share withothers in order to build relationships (not just products, in other words). He has also gained fame by creating the "blue monster," which is a cartoon he did for Microsoft with the caption "change the world or go home." In a recent post about Blue Monster 2.0, he was thinking out loud about whether he could recreate the success he had at Microsoft, and he made the following statement:

Ideas within companies are like people within companies. It doesn’t matter how good they are, there has to be a cultural fit or else it’s a complete waste of time; you’re just fighting a losing battle.

This is a point I would have made a while back during the "revolutionary versus incremental" discussion a while back. It is also a reminder that being right (and having the "right" people) is simply not enough.


  1. 26.06.2008 at 9:00 am

    Hugh has also argued that “ideas have lives of their own” and “the market for something to believe in is infinite.” The limitless capacity of ideas to inspire people and energize organizations is not something we should willingly surrender simply because the existing power structure is threatened by them.
    On some level, I suppose, the choice between revolution and incrementalism comes down to how each person views his or her unique purpose and responsibility. Are you trying to create a market for something to believe in, or are you trying to do your best within the prevailing orthodoxy? It’s a choice each of us has to make.

  2. 26.06.2008 at 9:06 am

    Dude! I’m not surrendering the power of ideas! I’m simply saying (as is Hugh) that they are not enough by themselves. All power is limited.