I’m giving a talk on the AI opportunity for enterprises tonight, and I’m including this quote from Wilbur Wright:
“The [person] who wishes to keep at the problem long enough to really learn anything positively must not take dangerous risks. Carelessness and overconfidence are usually more dangerous than deliberately accepted risks."
The inventors of the first airplane believed safety was the secret to progress.
So you can stick with it long enough to really learn.
It reminds me of the Claude C. Hopkins line, that “all advertising disasters are due to rashness; needless and inexcusable.”
The Wrights believed safety was the ticket to invention. Hopkins believed a steady pace and a careful approach was the secret to successful advertising.
And that’s my thinking about AI, too. It might be the technology that changes everything, or it might not be.
But in any case, the way to make progress is by focusing on the long-term. By giving yourself the time to test things out, safely.
It can feel like there’s pressure, and that we’re moving too slowly.
But remember what Wilbur told Orville about the pressure he’d get to take the airplane out in unsafe conditions:
“Do not let yourself be forced into doing anything before you are ready.”
If you want to seize the AI opportunity, do so safely.
Don’t worry about the speed at which others are moving—there’s no guarantee they’re going to actually get anywhere.
But if you take your time, stay patient, and stay safe, you’ll be able to steer the technology where you want to go.