In a recent post, Fred Wilson explains a theory he takes great inspiration from, both from the theory itself and from it’s creator:
John had a theory he called ‘the N+1 theory’ and while he applied it destructively in his own life, I have often found great inspiration from it in mine. The N+1 Theory states that there is always one more of anything.
I like the tidiness of this theory, and think it can be expanded even further. I’ve always thought there was something or someone “more” than that/who was labeled as the tops in their field.
- The fastest runner in the world? I bet there’s someone faster, they just don’t have the notoriety/money/fame to let us know who they are.
- The worst CEO/Manager? I bet there is someone even more sinister, we just haven’t heard about them (yet).
- The best beer? Wait until it’s even more humid and hot, and it’s a sunday of a three-day weekend. Let’s see if that beer is even better.
I suppose the assumption, when we use words like “fastest”, “worst”, and “best” is that these are the “fastest”, “worst”, and “best” for that specific time period. Until we learn a bit more, or listen more intently, or try different things.
Making this assumption makes me respect the here and now, but also urges me to learn more. How could something be faster/worse/better? Who might take that title?
By not thinking there is a finite “best”, maybe we can strive to become “better”?