I don't know what it is

When you experience a truly inspired success, you can't be sure you fully understand what made you successful, even though you really want to understand why, so you can replicate it. So the danger is being too certain about what that reason was.

I personally believe Google is one such case. They don't fully understand what made them so tremendously successful in the first place, and thus they've having trouble replicating that incredible success in any new field.

Pixar president Ed Catmull is someone who seems to give these things a lot of thought, and I love his take on it in this interview, as captured by Scott Berkun:

“We’ve got these successful things going on and we mis-perceive how we got there. Or who the influences are. And we draw these wrong ideas and we then make a series of mistakes which are not well grounded in reality. Which means the things that are happening now that are wrong at Pixar are already happening and I can’t see them. And I have to start with that premise. And through all the history.. there is something going on here and I don’t know what it is.”

Love this take. It's humble. It's open. It's full of wonder.

Often times, the questions are much more important than the answers.

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Maj Wismann

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