Give me an empty room.
Give me a new idea.
Give me half a dozen people and an afternoon.
Give me a goal.
Well, not a goal. I am not good at goals, even worse at checklists. But tell me your big ideas so I know what you’re aiming for. Inspire me. I’ll pass that fire along, ignite your staff. Keep me on staff for the first third of your project. Keep me around for the first five dates. Invite me to be part of your company until the day after the IPO. I’ll push you. I’ll drive you. I’ll get more miles out of that first gallon of gas than you thought possible.
The middle is tedious. It’s boring, arduous, task-mastering. It’s convincing people who already said they were on board to do the work, commit the time, spend the money, invest the resources. It’s punctuation. Line edits. Remind me again why I am convincing you to do something you said you would do? Time to revise and expand. The middle is for managers, for stonecutters, for artisans, for activists. The bureaucrats use the middle as a way to scale up, to set norms for the mediocre who, because we scaled up, will invade our fantasies. They will norm our fantasies. The bureaucrats use the middle to cement their own chairs and skim from the till. It’s not like it used to be. We used to be about something.
The end is abrupt.
The middle failed… or it succeeded wildly.
Either way I’m off to something new.