Richie Norton

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Was Twitter a “Stupid Idea”?

Above artwork by the amazing Meredith.
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Want to change the world?

Big change often starts with something simple—we all know this (and could likely provide a dozen valid examples at the drop of a hat). But what we don’t know, what we don’t always recognize, is that big change just as often starts with something “stupid.”

Case in point, Twitter?  What on Earth was/is stupider than Twitter? Yet I challenge you to name anything that has had as profound an impact on the world of social media (in the entire history of the Internet). Sure, it’s easy to look at the major micro blogging platform we now know as Twitter and immediately see the brilliance behind it—but at it’s inception? Do you think you would have seen the potential, the sheer genius? (If so, high five. You’re likely very far outside the norm.) The truth of the matter is that in the early days, nobody got it. Even some of Twitter’s own engineers weren’t convinced of it’s viability.

From the Wall Street Journal :

“’A lot of people thought it sounded stupid,’ Stone [co-founder of Twitter] said. ‘Even some of our engineers weren’t interested.’”

Nevertheless, they pressed on with their high and mighty (and fantastically grandiose) goal, “to change the world.” As in, their goal was literally to take this idea that everybody else said was stupid, and change the world.

Here’s what “twttr” looked like before it became Twitter.
Photo by Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter.
Click on the link above to read the backstory in Jack’s own words.

WHAT’S YOUR STUPID IDEA?

For a myriad of reasons, many people stop themselves from setting big (aka: real) goals and dreaming big (again: real) dreams, and that’s simply not OK. It leads to living life always wondering “what if. . .?”

You’ve got to get your goals/dreams out of your head, and down onto paper where they belong. The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, isn’t that what they say? In the world of dreams and goals, the first step is putting a pen to paper . . . it’s how you really own what you want out of your life.

Don’t know how to begin? Here are a few simple scenarios to help you get started:

What would you do if. . .

  • lack of time wasn’t an issue?
  • lack of money wasn’t an issue?
  • lack of education and experience weren’t issues?

Scribble down whatever idea(s) come immediately to mind, and there you go. These are likely some of the most significant goals/dreams of your life.  Soooooo, GET TO WORK. Begin where you are. Start small. You never know what might happen. You may just change your life and even the lives of countless people around you. At the very least, you’ll be offering yourself the ability to live your life without wondering, “What if . . .?”

UPDATES FROM RICHIENORTON.COM

—I have finally adopted Twitter (I can hear jaws dropping all over the world). I may have been slow to jump onboard, but I’ve posted more than 200 tweets chock-full of happy quotes, pictures and good news, to help myself, and whoever else sees them, stay inspired and make the most of each day. Twitter is more fun than a barrel of monkeys, well maaaaybe. . .a barrel of monkeys would be pretty fun, too! Either way, you can follow me here.

—My book The Power of Starting Something Stupid has been (the most challenging and) the most important project I’ve ever worked on. I’m thrilled with the way it’s coming together. I can’t wait to share more information with you soon! Stay tuned!

22 Comments post a comment
  1. Aaron Dec 11th 11:05 am

    What’s up Richie!! Just want to say that i have been in a funk lately…but I re-read your book resumes are dead and it reminded me to keep doing what I love to do and to do more with the skills and passions that i have been blessed with. Mahalo braddah!!

    • Richie Norton Dec 11th 11:21 am

      You’re awesome, Aaron! Thanks for the nice note. I know what funks are like. No fun. Glad something in the book helped. Keep making waves!

  2. kimberly oyler Dec 12th 8:57 am

    love the idea of pursuing your dreams as real possible things. that is not my natural mindset! Thanks richie! and thanks again for the kindle fire! still loving it!

    • Richie Norton Dec 12th 9:40 am

      Thanks SO much, Kim!!! You’re awesome. Glad the Kindle Fire is keeping you warm. :-) Thanks for following the blog.

  3. Natalie Norton Dec 13th 8:34 am

    I LOVE THIS POST RICH. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. AND I LOVE YOU! YOU’RE MAKING SUCH POSITIVE CHANGE IN THIS WORLD. I’M PROUD YOUR MIND.

    • Richie Norton Dec 13th 8:40 am

      Thanks SO much! Love you!

  4. Natalie norton Dec 13th 8:35 am

    *proud your MINE, not MIND, because that means nothing.

  5. Darci Laidlaw Dec 13th 3:48 pm

    Very Excited to read your book! The title is spot on. IN 2013 I have plans to do something I’ve always wanted to….record an album. Maybe it will only have 2 songs on it. Maybe it will only ever be heard by my kids and family. But I’ve always wanted to do it, and no matter how “stupid” it might feel to be a 30-year-old mom of (almost) 4 recording a little self-produced album, i know that if it’s my dream, it’s something worth doing. :)

    • Richie Norton Dec 14th 8:44 am

      Love that, Darci!!!!

  6. A thought picture to go with yesterday | Mark Gedeon Jan 01st 9:30 am

    […] I found this article today and thought I would continue yesterdays thought. This is an interesting read: http://richienorton.com/2012/12/was-twitter-a-stupid-idea/ […]

  7. Luke Gedeon Jan 02nd 7:59 am

    Our stupid idea is to build the best castle ever. We are building a website first that will be a planning ground for the castle as well as the top destination for info about castles and the middle ages. reason for trying to make the site popular is to attract the thousands of people with different skills and abilities that will be needed to pull this off.

  8. Make The ConnectionsBelieve You Can Build Your Ship - Marc Allred Jan 27th 6:22 pm

    […] everyone has some kind of greatness waiting to be unleashed.  Others might call your dreams stupid, may think you are unwise, and some may even try to hurt you because you follow your dreams.  But […]

    • Richie Norton Jan 29th 3:46 am

      Amazing! Thanks, Marc!

  9. http://www.Musiculation.com May 28th 4:36 pm

    It’s amazing to visit this website and reading the views of all mates regarding this piece of writing, while I am also zealous of getting familiarity.

  10. Bertelur - Sound Stupid? Dumb Business Ideas That Turned Out to be Pretty Smart Dec 11th 9:06 pm

    […] the name sounds stupid. According to a Twitter co-founder Biz Stone (yes, real name), even the engineers thought it was a stupid idea. But Twitter’s initial public valuation exceeded $30 billion. And it’s changed the way […]

  11. The Last Laugh: Why Good Ideas Are Often Ridiculed at First… | STARTUPS WAVE May 17th 8:37 am

    […] Twitter, which has seen better days but rocked the world with an initial $30 billion valuation, was thought to be a “stupid” idea by its engineers, and even one of its […]

  12. The Last Laugh: Why Good Ideas Are Often Ridiculed at First… – STARTUPS May 17th 12:11 pm

    […] Twitter, which has seen better days but rocked the world with an initial $30 billion valuation, was thought to be a “stupid” idea by its engineers, and even one of its […]

  13. The Last Laugh: Why Good Ideas Are Often Ridiculed at First May 17th 12:41 pm

    […] Twitter, which has seen better days but rocked the world with an initial $30 billion valuation, was thought to be a “stupid” idea by its engineers, and even one of its […]

  14. The Last Laugh: Why Good Ideas Are Often Ridiculed at First… | Startups Access May 17th 2:22 pm

    […] Twitter, which has seen better days but rocked the world with an initial $30 billion valuation, was thought to be a “stupid” idea by its engineers, and even one of its […]

  15. The Last Laugh: Why Good Ideas Are Often Ridiculed at First… | STARTUPS PLAN May 17th 8:11 pm

    […] Twitter, which has seen better days but rocked the world with an initial $30 billion valuation, was thought to be a “stupid” idea by its engineers, and even one of its […]

  16. The Last Laugh: Why Good Ideas Are Often Ridiculed at First… | Startup Rates May 24th 10:23 am

    […] Twitter, which has seen better days but rocked the world with an initial $30 billion valuation, was thought to be a “stupid” idea by its engineers, and even one of its […]

  17. The Last Laugh: Why Good Ideas Are Often Ridiculed at First – Online Company Card Jul 16th 8:20 pm

    […] Twitter, which has seen better days but rocked the world with an initial $30 billion valuation, was thought to be a “stupid” idea by its engineers, and even one of its […]

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