Best or First?

Some thing I’ve been thinking about lately: Is it better to be the best at something or to be the first at something? In 1891, Dr. James Naismith nailed a peach basket to a gymnasium wall and made his phys. ed. students lob a ball through it. One hundred years later, Michael Jordan lead the Chicago Bulls to victory in the NBA Championships, and did so again in ’92 and ’93.

Johann Zahn built the first portable practical camera in 1685. In 1927 Ansel Adams snapped his famous “Monolith” photo.

Japanese noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu put “The Tale of Genji” to paper in the early 11th century. In 1884 “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” was published by Mark Twain.

In 1956 George C. Devol and Joseph F. Engelberger developed a robotic arm called the “Unimate.” In 2005, Honda unveiled this:

If you’re the first, people may not remember you, but you’ve definitely changed the world. If you’re the best you get both sides of the pie.

My question is this: If you succeed in doing something different, something no one has ever done before, would you be able to live with the fact that you might never be remembered for it? Or is simply doing it satisfaction enough? Or do you gain satisfaction from knowing that you paved the way for others like yourself? Are you capable of having no ego?

Are you lying?

No Comments

  1. Bobby says:

    Don’t forget the other 3 ‘Ships the Jordan-Bulls won.

    What about the guy that invented the windshield wiper? He just got a movie and I still don’t know his name.

    For me, it’d depend on my mood. Some days I would like to have quietly changed the world and some days I would want to be known for it. I’m a fucking Gemini through and through.

    Another question to ask is would you rather invent something or make an existing invention even better? Inventor or Revolutionary. Mobile Phone/iPhone is a very recent one. How many touch-screen “iPhone Killers” are we seeing now?

    Why don’t cable-TV remotes have full keyboards yet? Mobile phones can handle it but a cable box can’t?

  2. Bobby says:

    In my spaztic/quick response did I just ask the same question you did but in different words?

  3. chris says:

    haha, yeah, kinda.

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