Time Travelers or Gods?

by | Apr 2, 2019 | Commerce, Technology


“The past, like the future, does not really exist. They are both fantasies created in our minds. The future is a probabilistic simulation we run in our heads in order to help shape the world we want to live in. The past, unlike the future, has actually happened. But the past, as represented in our minds, is a mental simulation.”

Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human


Are people who change the world doing so because they’re visionary—or because they wish to mold the world in their own image? What about those who adopt great ideas from the past?

Ever since immersing myself in the tech scene, I’ve come to really admire the conviction of world changing entrepreneurs.

My question always has been: where does the unshakeable resolve, even in the face of so much opposition and uncertainty come from?

I have this very same deep rooted belief about my own personal project, so I took time to reflect inwardly and I did come a bit closer to understanding my personal story.

Is it the same for others?

The way I see it, there are two possibilities.

People who change the world are time travelers.

Or, they’re gods.

What’s the difference?

Time travelers are not literally traveling time, obviously.

The truth is, they possess an uncanny ability to envision exactly what the future is going to look like—then using their information asymmetry to make it a reality, all the while ignoring the naysayers who don’t see the future picture.

What’s a classic example of this?

Think Marc Benoiff and the Salesforce team. They just knew it was a matter of time before software as a service, and cloud software in general was a trend.

Being one of the first pioneers of this approach didn’t phase them—it excited them.

On the other hand, gods are shaping the world by brute force.

They may have an intuition about what the world ought to look like, but not a real sneak peek into what it will.

Instead, they have the arrogance (and I use this as a positive word) to believe that they know what is best for their customers.

They obviously adapt to the situation at hand, though most of their work is serving to make their dreams a reality.

In truth, people who change the world are likely a combination of the two.

Upon reviewing those descriptions, it seems they share the most important commonalities: an insightful world view, and the drive to execute and bring that world view to everyone.

How do they get that insightful world view? Tell me what you think.


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