I was sitting in a crowded and deceptively spacious coffee shop, intoxicated with a lovely smell of freshly baked bagels and the infamous New York cheese cake. The place was buzzing with laughter, conversations, phone calls and music streaming out of headphones of people around me. I could almost recognize the tunes of people eagerly typing on their laptops as they were sipping their cappuccinos. And then I caught that phrase again. That poisonous, deceptive phrase that always comes up, and always brings down good ideas—swiftly, abruptly, abrasively. “You can’t possibly do that!”“This is just plain stupid!”“It can’t be done.”You know the drill. You are shining—no, you are burning—with your brand new idea, and you can almost grasp its significance and sense its potential impact, and as you envision it happening, you almost see how it will change the way you work, and perhaps even change the way your colleagues work, and perhaps even change everything in that beautiful, exciting world of yours, and so you can’t wait to take on a new journey to that something, big, important, substantial, something that matters, and in the high spirits of your immersive flight above anything and everything, you explain it to your friends or colleagues, and neighbours and total strangers—jumping all over the place, depicting the idea on drawing boards and filling the entire room with energy and kindled, flammable enthusiasm. You see your dream right in front of you, and you can almost touch it with your hands.“It doesn’t work this way.”“It has been tried, and failed miserably.”“It’s just unrealistic! We’ve always done it the other way.” And they kill it. They bounce back your hopes and dreams, they shatter your confidence and they shake away your ignited enthusiasm in a blink of a second. And you crash. You crash badly. You find yourself having to explain why perhaps eventually it might work after all, fighting the discouraging, devastating critique from people around you. And then you start seriously doubting yourself and your ideas. And then eventually that moment comes when you let it go, when your idea dies. Silently. Calmly.Throughout all these years I’ve learned that some of the better design ideas emerge either through spontaneous conversations or through experimentation—often shaping and assembling itself as some sort of a puzzle: combining of a number of ideas from different sources. You might meet somebody in a coffee shop or a conference party, or you might accidentally stumble upon a problem that you’d like to be fixed. The latter lies at the very core of experimentation. Good ideas don’t require proper planning or schedule; nor do they benefit from exhaustingly long meetings and conversations with management. They emerge from experiments, from playing around with things that you care about, things to which you have an emotional attachment. And quite often they need a creative chaotic environment to flourish and grow. However, the path from an idea to a tangible product is full of failures, and it’s those inevitable, sometimes devastating failures that make you stronger and keep you going, and eventually—if you don’t give in easily—drive you in the right direction, just to finally pave the boardwalk to something that might turn out to be changing and defining your future.Of course we all should benefit from the knowledge of others—people who trust themselves to actually follow through their weird, unrealistic, and sometimes stubborn, naive ideas. But we should be able to learn and grow from our own mistakes, too. If you are willing to experiment and tackle failures along the way, you have to be able to make your own mistakes. And that means making an effort to beat the odds—no matter how doomed that shiny new idea might initially look.In fact, usually that initial creative spark sounds just so ridiculous, unreasonable and improbable at first, and often even worse after the first critical review. But sometimes it doesn’t matter. Yes, it just doesn’t matter. Perhaps it’s your time to succeed where others failed, and risk your personal time to gain strength, experience and wisdom that others gained before you. Perhaps you are doomed to fail, but you might build something in the end that will lead you to success in the future as you combine that idea with the inspiration you’ll find in your cellar years from now.We should risk, accept and embrace our own experiments, pushing the boundaries, trying out something new—something we’ve never done before, and especially something that nobody has ever managed to get right before. It doesn’t matter how silly, strange or plain ignorant an idea might sound at first, it’s always worth the time and effort to give it a try as long as your enthusiasm drives you to explore it further.So the next time somebody comes to you and tells you that you can’t do something, or you will fail, or you should save the breath, perhaps a humble, short and impeccably concise: “Watch me.” would do. Perhaps tell them that you want to change the world forever. That you want to make things better around you—a tiny bit, every single day. Watch them gently smiling towards you, admiring your naivety and stubbornness, but don’t get discouraged and don’t lose that almost madman-like spark in your eyes. Do your own thing and make your own mistakes if you have to. Tackle your failures and conquer your weaknesses, recognize your instincts and follow your dreams—and don’t let anyone, anywhere, at any time, steal them from you.