Lessons from the SuperDisk

SuperDisk a.k.a. LS120 courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
SuperDisk a.k.a. LS120 courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

When I was in high school I thought the SuperDisk was going to revolutionize portable data storage.  In my mind, it was a sure-fire success.

For those of you unfamiliar with the SuperDisk, it was basically a bigger, faster version of the 1.44MB floppy disk developed in the mid-90’s.  I mean, think about it, we were used to carrying around 1.44MB floppy disks, and along comes this amazing device that has 100 times the capacity and is the same size!  With the growing popularity of the even-larger capacity Zip disk and the rapidly declining cost of CD-R and CD-RW media by the year 2000, the SuperDisk soon faded away into obsolescence.

History clearly proved me wrong, but it seems I may have missed the greater lesson.  It’s not about being right or wrong, it’s about daring to dream about the progress of technology and its ability to improve our lives and the world around us.  Over the years, I’ve miscalculated several other flops, but I’ve also predicted some major successes.  Until now, I’ve kept my dreams confined to my close circle of friends and family, but at their encouragement, I’ve decided to share them with the world.

When I was at UF, my writing teacher, Vikram Rangala, had us do an exercise in which we were supposed to intentionally fail at something in public and then write about the experience.  That experiment taught us several things:

  1. Everyone messes up at some point – Don’t take yourself so seriously
  2. We spend way too much time thinking about what other people will think about us – the result is that we take fewer risks and fail to reach our full potential
  3. In most cases, even after you fail, life goes on – and if you were paying attention, you probably learned something very important in the process

At the encouragement of my friends and family, I will be posting my thoughts and predictions, as well as product reviews and ramblings on all things innovative on this blog.  Rather than continue to be shackled by my fear of failure, I’ve decided to put it all out on the table and begin with one of my earliest flops.  Following the “Failure Forward” and “Fail Faster” philosophies, this blog will serve as the means of communication for my explorations into the bleeding edge of innovation.  Failure optional, participation required.

I invite you to join me on this journey, and freely welcome feedback and comments.

Learn more about the SuperDisk at WikiPedia

4 replies on “Lessons from the SuperDisk”

I for one am excited to read what you’ll have on offer. Knowing you for as long as I have you have inspired me deeply to pursue your passion at the risk of censure or ridicule and have had the joy of witnessing fabulous things happen in your life because of this fearlessness. I’m going to research this “fail forward” concept. And as a technological dinosaur I’ll gladly benefit from your keen eye.

Well, I guess I should say, additionally, that you’re incredibly well-qualified to be seeding the cyberworld with your opinions, especially on innovation and technology, but also on many other, more philosophical topics. I, for one, look forward to reading more. Cheers.

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