The fastest way to succeed is to focus on failure.
Set failure as your goal, and then motivate yourself to fall flat on your face. Be the first one to make an idiot of himself in some complex or difficult endeavor. Make sure plenty of people see it, so you'll get more critics telling what you did wrong. Pay attention to the critics who are either successful or insane. Obey their commands. Come out again, this time with the Killer App.
For a bad example, take my worthless, shabby, unpopular new program entitled Avant Garde Music TV.
A more pedestrian and clunky title, you could not pray for. This is about as raw and unvarnished as it gets. No creativity in the title, no clever wording. Just a blunt statement of exactly what it is.
If you don't know what music could be classed as Avant Garde, you probably won't like it when you learn what it is. It's anti-commercial, unpopular, experimental, DIY (do it yourself), or otherwise "out there" music.
Think banjos and Alesis Midiverbs. Or violins and harmonicas. Jaw-harps and Theremins. Moogs and hollow logs. Or no musical instruments at all, just picking up sounds that occur naturally ("musique concrete"), or making sounds out of the thin air, or with altered samples, or self-generated atomic particles of soundpathing: square, sawtooth, and sine waves.
Stochastic music, ala Iannis Xenakis, e.g., the sound patterns of raindrops on a tin roof, cicadas and crickets, other seemingly random, but mathematically definable sonic events.
Noise music, using "non-musical" sounds as legitimate sonic events.
So I create a new art form and a common Silicon Vale of Tears business model, slap them together, and voila!
Avant Garde Music TV = Vaspers + YouTube + Amazon.com/Barnes & Noble
Vaspers the Grate furnishes the infotainment context, online reputation, and hosting platform.
YouTube is the content provider.
Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble represent the advertisers.
Users represent unpaid buzz agents and paying customers.
Get rich by doing next to nothing, that's my policy. Because then you've got more time and energy to do the more important things, the things that matter a lot more than survival, because it will keep working after you're long dead and gone, things like art, literature, tech evangelism, and music.
So like an idiot, I decide to do something stupid, like
"turn YouTube video offerings into a narrow niche channel, by carefully and patiently sifting through chaff and waste products, to find the golden needle of rich relevant rewarding content, post these videos under a categorical imperative, give it a fancy, but explicit and memorable, name.
"What was that tv show about avant garde music? Oh, yeah. It was the Avant Garde Music TV show." your audience members will think when they're at a cocktail party or taffy pull.
Monetize it with ads tucked away down at the bottom of each posting. Sell ads to sponsors based on the content, making the ads a relevant resource and not a distracting irrelevance.
Call the sloppy mess a show. Go to sites where such shows are already popular, and sing to the choir about what you've got and why it's hot."
I do my best work in the margins, traces, and erasures of the web. Using tools nobody's ever heard of, for purpose that seem vain, futile, and absurd. For who, though? For the Far Future Folks.
Vanishing Edge Technology.
Vanishing because the world is not ready for it yet.
But in a day, or a year, or half a decade, the world will crave and be dependent on it.
That's where you have to be.
Where the future already is.
Just step outside your routine, crush your habitual perspective, annihilate your assumptions.
Ah, a little more to the left. There. Up. Up closer. Now, yes. Okay. I think you're there. In the future mentally. Good.
The only security is in change. Upheaval is our sure foundation for planned cataclysmic revolution in all things. Mess with your life before life messes with you. Do something new and bizarre.
Be daring. Dare to be indifferent to what everybody's raving about, and see where such technology is leading. Jump ahead, leapfrog over the crowds, and be King of the Yet To Appear Mountain.
When the mountain of public acclaim and desire does arrive, you'll already be sitting on top of it, selling tickets to the Now Big Thing, as you plan the Next New Thing.