Swimming upstream seems like a statement to some. You can swim harder than everyone else, and still get nowhere. Why? Because it’s upstream of course. Some keep trying and drown. Isn’t it smarter to admit you’re swimming the wrong way and just turn around? Swimming downstream will get you places fast.
It’s not giving up. It’s plain good decision making.
Unlike what we generally believe, some of the greatest inventions were made by swimming downstream, not upstream. Think about it. Weren’t most good inventions the result of taking the markets’ needs into account, rather than discarding these and doing the opposite?
When the market asks for red cars, don’t try to sell people green cars. You could try to sell flying mobiles. Henry Ford built cars when people were looking for faster horses. He never tried to persuade people they didn’t need cars. He provided a better way to get from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’. Even Ford was swimming downstream. He was swimming faster than the people who were still just breeding better horses.
Thomas Edison never ignored the need for light. He didn’t preach about reading in the dark, or about going to bed once the sun sets… He invented a way to improve the current way of light consumption. People needed light. He gave it to us, even when it’s dark. “Dark” was a problem AND an opportunity. But when working on the first light bulb, he was swimming downstream. Just faster than anyone else.
Is there something you can change for the better by swimming downstream?