Think Different

Think Different.

Conceptually, many aspire to be this way. Practically, very few are.

It’s more work. It’s riskier. It’s uncomfortable. It’s lonely. It might mean looking/sounding like a fool. It might mean failure.

So it remains an aspirational slogan for most.


But we advance only when someone thinks different.

Each time this happens, progress is made (regardless of outcome).

Every invention. Every cure. Every convenience. Every advancement.

Fire. Electricity. Light bulbs. Cars. Airplanes. Radio. Television. Computers. The Internet. Smartphones. Instagram. Airbnb. Bitcoin/Crypto. And so on.

Advancements in every other field from medicine to the arts.

Each time, someone, or a group of people dared to think differently.


It doesn’t matter whether you want to change the world or not.

Thinking different isn’t just something you do. It is who you are/become.

Thinking different is devotion. You do it because you care deeply (it is very difficult to do this effectively for things you don’t really care about).

Thinking different feels different. A natural high (if you’re not feeling it, you’re probably not thinking that differently).

Thinking different is patience.

Thinking different is tolerating (self-inflicted) pain.

Thinking different is abandoning the first ideas/insights that come to mind. These are likely repeated thought patters / closer to the status quo and you’re not seeking the obvious / readily available.

This is where the discomfort arises. Not knowing, not having a definite answer/direction for any extended period of time is torture for the human mind.

This is why it is a way of being - it requires an irrational confidence that a significantly better, more elegant solution exists. And that you can find it.

This irrational confidence will be your light in the dark. Knowing that better exists just at the edge of your vision will be your only comfort. It will challenge you to come at the problem in different ways, think, rethink, investigate your data/market/whatever more deeply, and obsess, obsess, obsess.

It’s uncomfortable. It’s wonderful. It can be hell.

Every great explorer/adventurer has gone through this.

As has every great inventor/thinker/strategist.

As has every great artist/writer/creative.


It seems appropriate to end this with the manifesto that led to Apple’s ‘Think Different’ campaign:

“Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
— Rob Siltanen


Have a wonderful weekend,
-Amit