Derek Sivers gave a TED talk about how first followers are themselves engaging in a form of leadership, and it's been getting a huge amount of buzz. It was based on this video:
After he gave the talk, he wrote a post saying that a lot of people told him that he should write a book, go on a speaking tour, or do something else with this big idea. The only problem: he didn't want to. He has other projects he's working on that are more important to him, so he gave away the idea to anyone that wanted to do something with it.
A friend of his named Andrew Dubber then picked up on this theme and became a first follower of sorts. Instead of taking the idea and writing a book though, he's becoming a first follower by publishing one idea a day for 30 days starting March 3rd, and he's giving them away.
I thought this was in itself a pretty cool idea.
But then I remembered a post Derek wrote titled Ideas are just a multiplier of execution, where he explains that a great idea with no execution or lousy execution isn't really worth all that much - maybe $20. A weak idea with brilliant execution though could be worth $10,000,000.
So unless one of Andrew's ideas are executed on, then they're just a bunch of blog posts. Which is fine I suppose, but that doesn't really do the whole thing justice.
So now I'm going to be Andrew Dubber's first follower of sorts, but again in a different way.
Here's what I'm doing:
I am committing to executing on - and shipping - one of Andrew Dubber's ideas by Saturday, May 1st, 30 days after his last idea will be published on April 1st. This way I'm sticking with the 30 day theme Andrew has set out, but I also reward myself for making a decision and getting to work, and penalize myself a bit for delaying my decision.
Of course, I have no clue what ideas Andrew is going to publish. I've never even heard of him until the other day, and as I write this I'm pretty sure he doesn't know I even exist in the world.
I'm going to have to pick an idea to execute based not only on the strength of the idea, but also on my ability to execute on the idea, and execute it in the time frame I've set out. "Colonize the moon", for example, is probably not going to be the idea that I choose to execute on.
But here's what kind of fascinates me. Just by doing this; by doing nothing more than making this commitment, Andrew will now know that someone is looking at his ideas and looking for one to pounce on. I think that by it's nature, this changes things in the same way that a second or third dancer changed the way the first dancer was dancing in the video.
I know of course that I won't be able to do this alone, and I'm sure to need some help, but I think it's doable, and will be a lot of fun. I should also add that I'm completely intimidated by both of these guys and part of me thinks I have no business trying to do something anywhere near their league. But I figure that's probably just my lizard brain talking so best to shut it down right now.
So Derek gave a talk, and then gave away his idea. Andrew followed his lead and is giving away his ideas for 30 days. And now I'm going to execute on one of them in public.
I think we've got a party going on here. Let's dance!