Optimism is The New Courage.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on February 24, 2009

The bad news is unremitting—housing prices are plummeting, consumer confidence is dropping, unemployment is soaring, the financial system is breaking down. It appears that the world as we knew it is ending—and so it is. But Diego Rodriguez at Metacool reminds me—and all of us—that designing a new world will require a number of things, starting with optimism.

So I am going to stop being so gloomy and follow Diego’s advice. I fact, I am going to take Travis Pastrana’s advice. Here are lessons learned on designing for the future from Travis and Diego:
1) Optimism grounded in reality is the key. Understand the verities and take realistic risks. Without optimism and risk-taking, there is no hope of designing a recovery.

2) Plan and reduce the secondary risks so you can make the big ones. Do that extra research, that fifth prototype.

3) Save your cash for the important stuff. Surviving is “expensive” in this environment. Cash is lifeblood.

4) Landing determines prosperity. After survival comes—-what? Landing your career, company, nation in a position to do well in the future. Watch that landing while you’re surviving.

5) Dress for success. Put optimistic “clothing” on yourself and your brand (often the same thing but not always). Look good, even if you’re quaking.

Thanks for the survival tips Diego. So, what are you wearing today?

Reader Comments

Andre Koen

February 25, 2009 7:52 PM

Thanks for the well structured post!

This is inspiring advice from Travis Pastrana. No doubt, risk-taking with optimistic approach and judgment brings amazing results.

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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