Words overhead as an author is speaking: If I knew I was going to end up writing an entire book - I'd never have begun.
Linux featured in the essay I was writing last week...and I couldn't help but be reminded that this was the "official" launch of the Linux operating system:
"I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones."
To this day, I am sorely tempted to undertake the whole grand dramatic turn-the-world-upside-down vision...or nothing at all. The trouble is more often than not you end up with exactly...nothing at all.
So I'm complaining (I didn't realize I was complaining until my friend called me on it) about the state of education, especially business school education today. I can give him an entire vision of educational reform and better yet alternative models of education. He listens, and asks: Well, couldn't you teach one class at a business school yourself?
This is one of the (recurring) lessons from the dotcom days I've beat into my head the hard way (yup, way over-planned, over-designed, over-architected and flopped - and that's how I finally got to be a big devotee of agile software development).
It's all in finding the tiniest kernel - a seed to plant - that is just barely enough to be be useful and bear fruit and is barely just enough to intrigue others to jump into the sowing alongside with you. "Benevolent dictator" and creator of the Linux operating system kernel, Linus Torvalds, offers some sage advice.
Nobody should start to undertake a large project. You start with a small trivial project, and you should never expect it to get large. If you do, you'll just overdesign and generally think it is more important than it likely is at that stage. Or worse, you might be scared away by the sheer size of the work you envision. So start small, and think about the details. Don't think about some big picture and fancy design. If it doesn't solve some fairly immediate need, it's almost certainly over-designed. And don't expect people to jump in and help you. That's not how these things work. You need to get something half-way useful first, and then others will say "hey, that almost works for me", and they'll get involved in the project. - Linux Torvalds, Linux Times Interview, October 25, 2004, via Wikiquotes
BONUS: Johnnie Moore's Creating in the Moment post.