The problem with visionaries.

Visionaries across every field of human endeavor are revered for their prescient capacity to see what does not exist. However, this is dangerous because it endows these visionaries with this quasi-divine powers that are very far from the reality of how most of them came about their vision.

Before there’s a vision there’s something to ‘see.’ Maybe I am not articulating this correctly but in my opinion when visionaries have this almost prophetic foresight about a product or an industry there might not be a physical manifestation of their vision but their vision is certainly responding to a problem they feel they can solve.

Foundational myths of companies are very appealing because they have a clear and prototypical narrative arc that’s easy to identify and relate to. The problem with this is that it puts the visionary (usually the founder) on a pedestal and it disregards the fact that something motivated this founder to build what they built. From what I’ve seen from different founders this motivation was not a crystal clear vision of what they wanted to build. Instead, they had this latent hunch of a problem that they felt they could solve either for themselves or for someone else.

The Takeaway

The takeaway for me from this thought experiment is that as entrepreneurs, individual contributors and citizens we should look to add value by solving real problems that we and others my have instead of focusing on waiting for “visionaries” with miraculous visions.

This is only the beginning of this journey but so far it’s working great for me and maybe it will for you too. Hence, why I am writing this post. If you feel that this might be useful to someone you know or to your network in general please be sure to share.

Also, if I can help with anything feel free to reach out – hi@xavierpladevall.com