We have all seen movies like Fatal Attraction where someone becomes so obsessed that reason and judgement go right out the window. So if I say, “Obsession can be a good thing” it doesn’t mean all obsession but some obsession is required for those of us committed to a cause.
When I was seven years old the only thing I wanted for my birthday was an R2D2 action figure. Unfortunately for me, and my mom, they were all sold out. I cried and felt quite sorry for myself but there was nothing I, or my parents, could do at the time. When Christmas time came around my fortunes changed and I was able to get a remote controlled R2D2. My own little droid! I drove that sucker around chasing after me like I was the master of the universe – many batteries died in the wake of my cause for droid obsession. The controls were horrible, but it didn’t matter, I had my R2D2.
Once I became an adult I spent time learning what I could about electronics, robotics, reprogramming, etc in order to make my own R2D2. I was obsessed once again.
Recently I was at a talk where Mark Solon, one of the Managing Partners and board members of Techstars, one of the most highly regarded tech accelerators in the world, spoke to a group of inventors, entrepreneurs and community leaders. There was something that he said that really stuck with me: he usually likes to invest with people who are obsessed. When asked to pick between two different companies he said he would always take the one where the founders were obsessed.
Many years later I still have not built my R2D2, but the direction my obsession has taken me quite a bit further than that. Now I am part owner of a robotics company and have built autonomous robots from 17 feet in size down to about 7 inches in size that do marvelous things. So much so that R2D2 doesn’t feel like much of a challenge.
I love what I do and love telling people about what we do here at RoboGnosis. Robots are calling, time for me to stop writing and start putting my obsession to work once again.
Sometimes, obsession can be a good thing.