The Official Weblog of Internet Person Sam Killermann
Technolophizing

You Can Stop Saying “They Should Make A…”

There was a time when You needed Their permission. That time has past.

You Can Stop Saying “They Should Make A…”

Something I see all the time on the internet is people saying “They should have a…” or “They should make a…” and then sharing some idea, platform, service, movement, or cause that the commenter wants, and believes “they” should create.

A few years ago, this made sense. The request was legitimate and necessary.

There were gatekeepers in every industry — from arts to activism to commerce to community-building — who were the “They.” It was They who had to approve our appeal to create a new thing.

You couldn’t just make that thing, or build that platform, or create that movement, release that show, or host that community yourself.

You needed Their permission. You needed Them to make it for you.

But that’s all changed. Now, in the age of the internet and decentralized everything — from learning to producing to sharing — the request for Them to make something only serves only to disempower the person saying it.

You are They, if you choose to be. You don’t need to appeal to any gatekeeper to have your want, or to create your thing. And anyone who tells you otherwise is selling you a timeshare.

I can hear it, in your head. That reason why you might be thinking you need a They to make something for you.

But every reason that is going through your mind is a hurdle masquerading as a roadblock.

If you’re thinking I don’t have the money, look into crowdfunding, or consider how you can approach your project with lean manufacturing principles, reducing or altogether cutting the costs.

If you’re thinking I don’t have the skills, check out the No Excuse List, which will provide you with an outlet to learn pretty much anything you want to learn, online, totally free (just make sure you identify a project to learn for, and make it specific). Or team up with someone whose skills complement yours.

If you’re thinking I don’t have the time, consider collaborating with another You, or a group. Share the work. Read books like “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss or “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott to help you get a better sense of the time that’s really needed, and how to use it. Start small, creating just the minimum viable product version of your thing.

Are you thinking of some other reason? Some other hurdle that feels like a roadblock?

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Every reason you can conjure for why you need Them to make that thing is either (a) outdated, lacking important information about a new service, platform, or technological advancement; (b) willful misinformation that allows Them to continue withholding power from you; or (c) both.

Believe that, you will make it so.

Google (or DuckDuckGo) can solve all of your A concerns. B concerns are trickier, but can be solved by finding someone like you who did something similar to what you have in mind, without the consent of gatekeepers, and learning from their story.

Let go of preconceptions. Forget what you think you know. Explore with an open mind, a beginner’s eye, and you’ll find a lot of paths that were hidden before, or didn’t exist.

All you need to do to get started is to stop saying “They should have a…” or “They should make a…”. Remove those phrases from your vocabulary.

Instead, wonder “How could I create a…” or “What would it take for us to make a…”.

Then make it. Create it. Do the thing. Unless you choose to give it to Them, They have no power here. You’re the only one who can stop you.