Throw Gas on the Fire

July 15, 2008

Fire plus gas equals bigger fire. Too often we have heard the phrase “throwing gas on the fire” in a negative sense. When things are going wrong, people tend to try and douse the flames any way they can, often leading to more problems. Hence the phrase, instead of putting out the fires, they are causing them to grow.

However, let’s take a look at this from the other side of the spectrum. When you start a business, or you have an idea, it’s like lighting a match. At first the idea is small, though to you it may be big. No one else can really see it, but you know it has the ability to grow.

Slowly but surely it does start to grow and spread. Your match has started a fire. Now what are you going to do to keep that process going? Throw some gas on it! Throwing gas on the fire is not forcing it to grow, it is helping the process along at a faster rate. Spread the fire by letting the forces of nature act on it.

Too many people and small businesses see that are starting to get the word out or starting to get some attention and get comfortable. You never want to get comfortable. When you are comfortable you sit back and relax, just waiting for the idea to take off. Instead, get excited. Get motivated. Get some gas and throw it over the flames.

How, you ask. Well you can come out with new products to keep customers interested. You can add upgrades and features to get noticed. You can start collecting feedback to get people involved. You can get media exposure to capture new audiences. It doesn’t matter what you are doing as long as you are spreading the fire. Doing nothing smothers the fire. And when that last flame goes out, you’re left in the dark wondering how it all came crashing down when all you had to do was add more gas.

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The Government Doesn’t Get It

July 15, 2008

Innovation is hard.  As a concept, innovation is not something that just happens on its own, hence the whole point of this blog.  It becomes even harder for those of us that are not used to and have not been built on innovative principles and experience.  Case in point, our government.

The government has never been an institution that has embraced change all too well.  They are slow to move, slow to act, and quick to defend the old ways of doing things when presented with change.  When presented with a situation in which change is necessary, they don’t know what to do.

One example of this is the current economic conditions.  They know that certain things must be done to help the individuals and the companies that have been hurt the worst.  The Federal Reserve has arranged buyouts and bailouts for struggling financial institutions.  Congress approved a stimulus that put billions of dollars back in the hands of consumers.  And now everyone seems to be debating what to do about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Short term fixes and get out of jail free cards will never get at the heart of the problem.  These are not solutions because they do not address the underlying issues in the financial institutions.  They are just cover ups, like medicine for the common cold.  I am not going to sit here and say that I know what to do, but the government needs to take a long hard look at themselves and realize that in this day and age, they need to be able to adapt to change quickly and decisively.  No longer can partisan politics keep this country from moving forward.  It causes more pain in the end when we hesitate or do nothing than simply taking action.