Signals & Waves

Visions for the future internet.

Foreword

You can’t tell which seemingly wacky ideas are going to turn out to be right, and nearly all ideas that turn out to be great breakthroughs start out sounding like terrible ideas. So if you want a culture that innovates, you can’t have a culture where you allow the concept of heresy—if you allow the concept at all, it tends to spread. When we move from strenuous debate about ideas to casting the people behind the ideas as heretics, we gradually stop debate on all controversial ideas.

You can’t tell which seemingly wacky ideas are going to turn out to be right, and nearly all ideas that turn out to be great breakthroughs start out sounding like terrible ideas. So if you want a culture that innovates, you can’t have a culture where you allow the concept of heresy—if you allow the concept at all, it tends to spread. When we move from strenuous debate about ideas to casting the people behind the ideas as heretics, we gradually stop debate on all controversial ideas.

You can’t tell which seemingly wacky ideas are going to turn out to be right, and nearly all ideas that turn out to be great breakthroughs start out sounding like terrible ideas. So if you want a culture that innovates, you can’t have a culture where you allow the concept of heresy.