The fight between realism and idealism

I am not an idealist, but I like idealistic thoughts. However, idealistic thoughts have a tendency to turn into unrealistic unicorns rather soon. These thoughts came to me after watching the video of this weeks’ lecture: The Venus Project.

What is the difference between the two and what makes something an unrealistic unicorn? What If I look at myself? I consider myself a realist and I have a tendency to push things that seem farfetched into the corner of the unrealistic unicorns. Does that mean that these things are unrealistic unicorns? Well, I guess this is not the case. For myself, I can illustrate this with two examples.

The first example is the start-up Fastned I wrote about last week. A few weeks before, I discussed the same start-up with a friend of me during the corporate entrepreneurship course.  We discussed the viability of Electronic Vehicles (EVs) and I remember that our conclusion was that Fastned is really dependent on the growth of EVs and for the company to succeed, it faced the classic chicken and egg problem; their charging stations are only profitable if there are enough EVs on the road with a need for charging, but on the other hand people are not inclined to buy an EV if they cannot charge their vehicles while being on the road. A few weeks ago, we decided that is was unrealistic that Fastned was going to win.

But a few weeks ago I visited a talk of Fastned founder Michiel, which was very exciting. He explained their vision on the chicken and egg problem; according to them it is all about location, location, location and as explained last week this was what they pursued by building a charging station on every suitable highway location in The Netherlands. After the talk of Michiel I was very excited on the company and I even considered buying some shares. However, only last week my friend and I decided that Fastned was an unrealistic project!

What does this little example show? Well, first of all it shows that how a challenge is communicated will largely influence how people think about the possibilities of this challenge to be completed successfully. This is an important lesson for our little Texel project. So what is the difference between an idealistic thought and an unrealistic unicorn? Maybe it is just the way the challenge is explained…

I wonder if the video on the project by The Venus Project could be explained in a different way as well…

Thijs Schaap