I'm back from my trip to Boston and New York City, a vacattion into nostalgia, euphoria and of course decent lox and bagels.
When I came back to MSDN wearing my Red Sox cap, some folks were surprised. For one thing, though a former Bostonian, I live in Seattle where the Mariners are the team to cheer and cry over.For another, I have long hated baseball caps in general as a fashion statement - they make my head look like a mushroom. However, I wore it for the first day after the Red Sox became World Series champions for reasons other than fashion. (And yes, my head looked like a mushroom with a big "B" on it).
The Red Sox coming back from absolute loser position to beat the Yankees is something that has been explored ad nauseum by the press and gleefully celebrated by Boston fans to extremes. The implacable, relentless push toward beating the Cardinals will make people jump up and click their heels together for months. But, what struck me the most while I was in Boston, talking with my high school chums about technology and politics and of course, the Red Sox, was that in order to come from loser to champion was something the Sox had to see before anyone else did. (Please, desist humming "Impossible Dream" while I am talking to you. Thanks.)
All of the fans holding their collective breaths in The Burren where I was on Wednesday Oct 20, watching the big screen television and cheering/groaning over every play, couldn't predict how the game was going to go. (There were a lot of goofy errors that game if you remember, and a pretty high score compared to the rest of the Series games). What we had to go on, and what the Yankees contended with, was the Red Sox players' ability to believe both in their own abilities but to see the way through to a winning position. You don't win a game without someone or all of them deciding that path if only an instant before. Whether or not all that positive thinking, mantras, and self-help works for you, the truth is for the outcome to have been favorable, someone had to see that it would happen, and see to it, to happen, beforehand.
In technology development, which has its own rituals and superstitions, perceptions and misperceptions about what can and can't happen, the outcome goes to the person who *sees* it ahead of time. Who thinks "there's gotta be a way I can make an application that..." Who loses sleep because the vision dances in his or her head. Who goes to bat and strikes out again and again. All the video games, gadgets, programs, software legends -- all of these things were made because someone had the crazy notion that they should exist. They saw them before they existed.We should do more staring at things that aren't there. Our code and our lives would improve.
The lesson of the Boston Red Sox (even if you are a Yankees fan) is that even if you are forced to wear the dorky hat, you can still go on to win 8 games in a row. 🙂
Live it vivid people!