Ideas and Principles

I was intrigued by this article on the closure of The Amazings. I don’t know much about the organisation and how well it was run but the concept reminded me of some others I’d seen recently.

Who could not like the underlying principle of The Amazings? Connect up skilled and experienced older people with other people eager to learn. A great principle. But what about the idea? There have been plenty of comments on the way in which The Amazings was run but what if the idea was bad? How would we know?

The thing about bad ideas is that opinion doesn’t really matter. The only way of testing ideas is to put them into action. In most cases this works, but when principles are involved we get problems.

By confusing principles with ideas we run the risk of prolonging the bad ideas. Principles attract the sort of funding that doesn’t care how viable and sustainable the idea is. Principles attract the sort of support that makes everyone believe there’s a good idea.

And so the bad, unsustainable ideas keep going. Until the money runs out.

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