Passion, Ferocity and Defiance

Have you ever wanted to bring an idea to life?

Maybe it was an idea for a science fiction book, or a simple blog on a topic you’re passionate about, or maybe even an idea for a startup or small business…

What happened?

Did you bring it to life?  Did you manifest the vision?  Is there something tangible in front of you right now – the fruit of your labor?

Or did you get sidetracked, burned out, or rejected so many times you threw in the towel?

The Reality of Bringing a Vision to Life

If you’re mentally beating yourself up because you recognize a part of yourself in the last sentence – don’t.

The point isn’t to degrade, scold, or reprimand.

The point is to remind you of a universal truth that few people have the guts to say out loud:

Bringing a vision to life is hard as hell.

It’s hard as hell because every act of creation – whether book, blog, or business – is an act of defiance.

Creation, by its nature, seeks to alter the status quo – to bring into existence something that wasn’t there before and that could, quite possibly, change everything.

If you’re the artist, entrepreneur, visionary, or early adopter – this is great.

The more new, brilliant things we bring into existence, the better: life becomes easier (think horse-and-carriage cross country travel versus jet), systems become more efficient (which eliminates waste of time, money and resources), and ultimately the ‘pie’ increases for everyone.

Everyone except those defending the ramparts of the current paradigm.

Conflict and Paradigm Shifts

Uber is a great example of a company disrupting the status quo – and the rational (but misguided) backlash of those defending the current paradigm.

Uber is a car rental service.  But instead of the waste and inefficiencies of a classic cab company, Uber created an app that connects regular people (with regular cars) with other regular people looking for a ride.

Uber doesn’t hire drivers and buy taxis for them to drive – instead, it is simply the conduit for someone looking to get a ride (who is willing to pay a premium for the ease and efficiency of the model), and someone looking to give a ride (and get paid).

Groundbreaking idea?

Not really – it’s a classic example of system optimization and ultimately scrapping what is superfluous (in this case: the overhead and systems of the classic cab company model).

At the end of the day, the person looking to get a ride pays a reasonable rate for quality, and someone with a car can make extra cash on the side for ridesharing.

You’d think everyone would applaud this.

But as with all new ideas, they’re often met with hesitance, anger and sometimes even violence.

In the case of Uber, cab companies are soliciting local and state governments to keep Uber’s services out of the city.

Not to improve the life of the average citizen in the city (heaven forbid that ever be the case), but to protect the revenue (and, therefore, tax revenue) of cab companies in the city.

The Insurgent Always Wins

A few years ago, hearing this story would have made me upset.

How can an artist, entrepreneur, or leader ever change anything when the whole world seems to be against them?

Hearing stories like this can make a person throw in the towel long before he even attempts to bring his vision to life…

But after years of reading, studying, learning, and creating new things, I’ve come to understand another universal truth:

The status quo is powerful, but never unbreakable.

And, more importantly...

The creative insurgent always wins in the long-run.

In warfare, the insurgent is the person fighting for an idea (and an ideal) with the passion and ferocity that no standing army on foreign soil can possibly understand (nor reciprocate).

When it comes to the marketplace, the insurgent is the artist, entrepreneur, or visionary with a new idea that, once manifested, will disrupt (and possibly break) the status quo.

You Are the Insurgent

It is inevitable that Uber will succeed in the end.

No amount of government sanctions can break a good idea (see: The US Postal Service’s decreed and established dominance 50 years ago, and it’s slow death in the face of insurgent competitors like FedEx dozens of new innovators popping up every day, making the US Postal Service obsolete – no matter how many regulations they put in place).

Uber (like FedEx and the thousands of other businesses that started off as good ideas) is the insurgent, and, like I mentioned before, the insurgent force always wins.

Why does this matter to you?

Because you are the insurgent.

If you’re reading this, you have an idea you want to bring to life.  Something that ought to see the light of day.  Something that deserves to be given a chance…

And that means that no matter how seemingly insurmountable the odds…

No matter how entrenched the defenders of the current paradigm…

And no matter what possible hurdles, obstacles, and challenges you’ll have to face on your journey of creation,…

In the end - you will win.

But of course, you must start, you must finish, and you must ship.

And this comes down to the choices you make today – and every day going forward.

My advice: choose wisely, dare boldly, and bring your vision to life with the passion, ferocity, and defiance of an insurgent.

In the trenches right beside you,

Tom Morkes (leading an army of creative insurgents - The Resistance - since 2012)


Started in Gili Air.  Finished in Warung Coco in Kuta, Lombok while sipping Bintang (the Coors Light of Indonesia).

Total Writing Time: 2 hours and 35 minutes

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5 comments on “Passion, Ferocity and Defiance”

  1. Great message Tom.

    I love the example of Uber and I think we're going to see more of this coming up in the next decade. Insurgency is on the rise. Thanks for leading the charge.


    1. Thanks so much Alan. You're definitely one of the insurgents I'm talking about and look forward to what you're going to bring to life this year.

  2. Another great post Tom, which I REALLY needed to hear today. I've been struggling with the polish on Hammerhead Resurrection, and everything you stated here applies. Note that political scientist Ivan Arreguín Toft analyzed warfare between countries with more than a ten-fold discrepancy in militarized power and came up with a surprising conclusion. When the significantly smaller military used irregular tactics, guerilla warfare, that smaller force outstripped the larger nearly two out of three times. Well, I'm off to do more guerrilla marketing! 🙂

    1. Jason, that means a lot to me coming from a guy like you who is the epitome of the creative insurgent. I am going to check out Arreguin Tofts work now...I'm working on an idea right now to really analyze these military strategies and how they can apply to art, business and creative projects.

      Thanks again for the comment and look forward to Resurrection!