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Adii Pienaar

Now working on Receiptful. Co-Founder & ex-CEO of WooThemes. Author of Brandiing. New Dad. Ex-Rockstar.

That Moment The Dots Connect

This serves as a reminder that we're only ever able to connect the dots looking back.<...>

In his Stanford Commencement Address in 2005, Steve Jobs famously said:

"You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path; and that will make all the difference."

I've had a tough time in the last couple of weeks about how I should be moving forward with my new idea, PublicBeta.

Part of my trepidation was because I needed to re-learn to mindset of being comfortable when I'm naked (as an entrepreneur).

The other part of my trepidation about pushing the new version of PublicBeta live was because I was trying to connect all the dots in theory (and looking to the future).

PublicBeta has a big vision and it's a big idea; one that when I think of it, sometimes leaves me feeling short of breath. (Don't confuse a great idea for a big idea here; big simply refers to my ambition and the amount of work needed to justify itself.)

So as I've been building this new idea, I've been very aware of all of these dots that I know are related and somehow is part of a bigger picture. But I've been tirelessly (and unsuccessfully) racking my brain to connect them and make sense of it all.

My biggest problem being that this thought process seems like an infite, illogical loop, which is also partly down to various assumptions and emotions I have about the topic.

This is also why the version of PublicBeta that you see in front of you today is incredibly vague. It means that I've at least accomplished one thing perfectly: it accurately reflects and communciates where my head is at about the idea.

That's until I experienced that moment where - at least, some of - the dots connect and I can suddenly see a bigger part of the picture.

It's like walking into a dark hallway and as you walk the lights above you switches on. But the first step you take is always into darkness.

I would not have had that moment and none of these dots would've been connected (in my mind) if I didn't push myself to put what I had created out there.

PublicBeta - as it is - today is an infant; one without manners or the ability to string more than 3 coherent words together in an sentence. If you meet this infant for the first time, you probably won't have the best, first impression.

And that's okay.

This is about starting small and taking small steps in the pursuit of clarity to connect the dots. There's no other way to make sense of all the different signals out there.

The first step you take is always one into darkness.

Don't make the mistake I made to sit on assumptions and considerations which you're trying to figure out in theory.

That's literally just sitting in infinte darkness.

Figuring out the future is a journey that requires you to take on small step at a time.

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