Impossible Ideas are Great Ideas

After his presumption that both eBay and Wikipedia would never go mainstream was proven wrong, Joel Spolsky realised what he calls “a fundamental lesson about the nature of technological innovation”. For Inc. Magazine Joel describes his idea that the most important innovations are often those that appear to be fatally flawed.

[…] “seeming impossible” is practically a requirement for a truly great innovation. If something seems possible, that’s probably because someone is already doing it. When something seems that it can’t possibly work, nobody tries it. Real innovation happens when someone tries anyway, overlooking an obvious flaw, and finds a way to make an idea work. […] On the other hand, they simply may be impossible. But on those rare occasions when you realize that something nobody thinks can work really can work–well, on that day, you just might change the world.