Okay … let me start by saying that I do not have a test to measure your curiosity score, but I’m sure that one exists. For the sake of this discussion, however, it’s not important to go that far and obtain a result that gauges your level of curiosity.
Founder of PC Limited
Have you heard of a company called PC Limited? My guess is that you have not. Let me give you more hints … It was started in Austin, TX in 1984? Does this help? Let’s keep going … a UT student working from his dorm room is the owner. I think we’re getting warmer, right?
Friends, the founder of PC Limited is Michael Dell. I think you probably know the name of the company we’re discussing … Dell Computers! While Apple and Google seem to get the most attention today, Dell is worth an estimated $70B today, and growing. In other words, it has been able to survive for nearly 40 years in a dynamic, competitive, and volatile marketspace. We’ve heard of the many companies that were unable to adapt, such as Compaq Computers, Radio Shack, Circuit City, Blockbuster, and the list goes on.
The Value of Curiosity
Michael Dell made an interesting comment that might explain why his company is still formidable today: “There’s no better catalyst to success than curiosity.” An important point here is that we must be open to the many possibilities that exist. There are opportunities everywhere, and it’s our job to identify and explore them. Think about that word – EXPLORE! There are far too many people who hesitate to know more about what is possible, and this means they stay in their comfort zone. While this zone is comfortable, it also yields next to nothing in value.
Dell makes another point that resonates: “Regrets are born of paths never taken.” I think this one hits home with most of us, right? We all remember the times we decided NOT to do something that was meaningful to us because we were afraid of what others might say, or because failing was a real possibility. However, successful people know that failure is temporary, and a new opportunity to breakthrough is available immediately after we’ve fallen short. In fact, we have not fallen short; instead, we’re still on the journey, only now we’re smarter because we know one more way that does not work.
Michael Dell provides an example of how the curiosity to explore can make all the difference. His $1,000 investment in 1984 created a company that is now valued at over $70B. He knew that taking risks was part of the process, and that the opportunity for big gains was real. We’re all at different stages of our lives, but the underlying premise is the same: doing nothing yields zero gain, OR, take action and be prepared for the possibilities.
Realizing success will be challenging, and we can expect to hit many walls along the way. However, when we embrace curiosity, the journey will be filled with countless opportunities that provide the fertile seeds of self-transformation.