Product & Startup Builder

You don't need to ask permission to change the world

Added on by Chris Saad.

I was just watching a great TED video about the guy who runs 'Improv Everywhere'. If you don't know what that is I strongly suggest you google it and watch the video.

His TED talk had some great themes and some funny videos showing the result of their work, however my key takeaway was from a small innocuous line that he kept repeating as a one of his throw away comments... "and we didn't even ask permission".

His final summary in his talk speaks to our collective need to, as adults, remember to play and have fun. But I think that his statement about permission reveals what 'Improve Everywhere' is really doing. It's showing people that it's ok to impact the world... without asking permission.

Too many people assume that they need to ask permission to change the world.

"I'm studying to be a writer" basically suggests that you are waiting for someone to hand you a permission slip (A degree) which declares you an 'English Major'. Then maybe you can call yourself a writer? Or maybe after you get your first writing job? Maybe after you publish your first book? Which of these permission slips allow you to declare yourself what you want to be - give you permission to change your little corner of the world?

This applies to everything we do. To be an entrepreneur, to love, to change the rules.

More people need to stop asking for permission - or worse, assuming they could never do something because it's against the written or unwritten rules.

This theme was echoed by an old interview I recently watched featuring Steve Jobs. He said that the old electronics kits that he played with as a child showed him that ANYONE could build the things they saw around them. A radio, a TV, whatever - these were man made, understandable and attainable things to invent and build for yourself. He mused that these kits were one of the things in his early life that helped him understand that he could build anything he wanted and impact the environment of millions of people.

So for all of you out there waiting for permission to change your life, your career, your perspective or your world - stop waiting. Go do it. Be, Do, Act as my friend and colleague Philippe likes to say.