Beyond Excellence:
The “Berserk Standard”

Amazon has changed the world.
eBay has changed the world.

Craigslist has changed the world—put about a zillion nails in the coffins of newspapers, among many other Richter 8.0+ things.
Craigslist has more traffic than Amazon or eBay.
(Though a private company, Craigslist has a projected market capitalization in the billions.)

Amazon has 20,000 employees.
eBay has 16,000 employees.
Craigslist has ... 30 employees.

There is more than one way to skin a cat—even a thoroughly modern cat.

"Pragmatic" action?

Among other things, every (!!!) time you start a project, no matter how small, reach out to several S.W.P.—seriously weird people—for their views about what you are undertaking. Keep reaching until you find a couple of people who are so far out that they more or less speak gibberish.

It may indeed be gibberish, and probably is gibberish—but perhaps once or twice in a lifetime, it'll be someone and some approach that amounts to a blueprint for doing the work of 10,000 with 10, à la Craigslist vs. Amazon and eBay.

Never get seriously underway until you've surfaced a couple of ideas that score perfect 10s, or at least 8s, on the ... Berserk Scale.

At the least, you will have had your mind stretched, the best exercise regimen of all; at most, you may have taken a baby step toward inclusion in the history books.

NB: I've got two books beside me as I write this:

The Weather Channel: The Improbable Rise of a Media Phenomenon (Frank Batten with Jeffrey Cruikshank)
ESPN: The Uncensored History (Michael Freeman)

The idea of an all-weather channel and the idea of an all-sports channel were considered the fantasies of raving lunatics. It took both sets of "lunatics" forever to prove their points. Yet both properties achieved matchless popularity (user-addicts by the millions) and market values of several billion dollars each.

(Source of data re Craigslist, Amazon, eBay: Wired, cover story, September 2009.)