This past weekend I got really big into Youtube channels about aviation. So that’s where my head is right now.
Ken Williams is a genius in that he could see the future. But seeing the future isn’t the hard part. Lots of people see what’s coming. The hard part is being lucky enough to be at the right place and the right time. Not everybody gets to be Amazon, only Amazon can be Amazon. Sorry.
My example here is gonna be international air travel. People knew that was the future by the 1920s. Italian engineer Giovanni Caproni (you might recognize him from the dreams in Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises) tried to get biplanes to cross the Atlantic. Count Zeppelin and Ludwig Durr tried it with lighter-than-air hydrogen cruise ships . Just after WWII you see things like the Saunders-Roe Princess, a seaplane the size of a DC-10. None of them got to be Boeing or Pan Am. Most ended up crashed into a lake or exploding over New Jersey.
You gotta feel bad for all these failures. They read the future correctly, they were so close in many cases. But the market wasn’t ready, the technology was too far away, or was already outdated by the time they got there. In Ken Williams case, at least nobody got killed in the process.