“No Limits” sounds like the kind of hyperbole you’d find printed on a tee shirt or baseball cap.
At many levels, however, it is literally true. “No limits” isn’t about bravado and posturing, but about the power of ideas.
Sure, there are the limitations of physical as well as man-made laws. Certainly there can be limiting circumstances and a disequilibrium of resources available to different individuals or nations.
Ronald Reagan said, “There are no such things as limits to growth because there are no limits on the human capacity for intelligence, imagination and wonder.”
Paul Romer, economist at Stanford, has profoundly shaped my thinking about growth theory. His new growth theory has effectively turned traditional economics on its head by claiming that physical resources are not the limiting factors of growth; ideas are. And since we will never run out of new ideas, we can effectively overcome the limitations of physical resources.
The quickest way to bankruptcy isn’t to run out of money; it is to run out of ideas.
I consider myself to be a man of big ideas. I agree with you and Ronald Reagan’s statement. However, in order to implement ideas one needs resources: contacts, money, etc.
For somebody with limited “circumstances and a disequilibrium of resources,” how would you recommend that he/she make big ideas become reality? Thanks.
This is so true! One of the greatest challenges for leaders is to create the kind of space that encourages and welcomes the generation of ideas. As long as we have ideas, we will continue to evolve.
(And, speaking of ideas, are you working on a new book? I enjoy your writing, and look forward to your next.)
Good question, Al. Entrepreneurs have often relied on bootsrapping to get an idea off the ground. That means substituting hard work and creativity for capital. In my book “The Fred Factor”, I write about out-thinking your problems and competitors rather than outspending them. Paul Hawken, in his classic book “Growing a Business,” says money can be detrimental to starting a business as it can stifle creativity and create a false sense of security.