This is my list of impossible things. I want to do, or contribute to doing, all of these things. I won’t do them all, but I want all of them to come to pass.

This means that I need your help. Anything woth doing that has never been done before will require collaboration. Please contact me if one of these ideas strikes your passion too.

I filtered this list according to Aristotle:

Probable impossibilities are to be preferred to improbable possibilities.


  1. Create a profitable business that invents medical proceedures and drugs as fast and cheaply as wikispeed does cars.
  2. Create a profitable business that does primary scientific research as fast and cheaply as wikispeed does cars.
  3. Transform one successful (Fortune 100 or 1000+ employees), American, hiearchical business into a post-hierarchical organization – and increase its success by doing so. The American requirement is in there because examples exist in other cultures but people keep saying “that’ll never work in the American economy.”
  4. Make the following statement be true: the majority of businesses in the Fortune 500 use a post-hiearchical organizational structure.
  5. Give away at least 10 ideas that others use to make successful businesses. Only counts if the founder acknowledges me (privately) as a significant factor in their success.
  6. Create the College of Hard Knocks. A combined business and technical school that researches new advancements in organizational structures and teaches students by having them create and run multiple successful companies before graduation. Get it accredited.
  7. Create a viable, distributed, moderate political movement. Named the Values Party, it stands for 1. Do what works. 2. Love thy neighbor & collaborate with him. 3. Learn and grow. It includes mainstream ministers and mainstream atheist scientists working side-by-side for the common good.


  1. For my entire life, do at least one improbable or crazy thing each month.
  2. Take up, and become good at, 1 new “hobby” each year. Example hobbies: IP law, inbound marketing, martial arts, building cars, musical expression, dance, psychology, neurological research.
  3. Continually inspire people to try things beyond what they thought were their limits.
  4. Every month for the rest of my life, inspire at least one new person to love failure. And help them learn to fail well.

Learning and Growth

  1. Understand the human brain
  2. Become as competent and well-known in one other domain as I am in the Agile Software Development domain.
  3. Become natively fluent in a language that I never spoke before age 13.
  4. Master  at least 5 different skillsets, at once. At least one must be mental and at least one physical. Examples are same as hobbies, above, but this requirement is for true mastery.
  5. Write both a successful technical book and a successful fiction novel. Successful means professionally-published, good reviews, and spike sales in the 85th percentile.

I belive everything on this list is probable. It’s just a matter of getting together an impassioned set of people to achieve them.

11 thoughts on “Impossible”

  1. Reflecting on this list, it's pretty obvious what my values are. And where I've got personality issues yet to be worked out.

    1. Nope. Scotch, sex, travel, extreme sports, and all the rest turn out to be highly possible. People do them all the time. So while they might be on my bucket list, they can\’t make my list of the impossible.

      I certainly do lots of highly-porbable things too. Often the best part of tilting at windmills is the people you meet and the stuff you do with them afterwards. One might even call such things inevitable.

  2. I'd say that some of these things you have already started! 🙂
    I've been working on a non-hierarchical business that we hope will change other businesses, We are looking for crazy people that want to join. Oh, and we only want to do impossible things, like making Melly happy 🙂

    Check it out and drop me a line: @duarte_vasco on twitter

    1. They certainly have started. Like all movements, they will take time to mature.

      There are a bunch of non-hierarchical businesses out there. But there aren't many (any?) on the Fortune 100. And that's what I want to change.

      I've worked for a long time on expanding the range of human existence. On expanding what is possible by those who push the boundaries. I still see tons of value in that work, but right now I want to focus on something else: expanding the bounds of what is normal.

      I want people who are trying to create a business to be traded on the NYSE to, by default, choose a non-hierarchical business model – because that's how you get accepted as a public company. And that's how you get rich as a founder (and make everyone else in the company rich along with you).

      This is the part that remains impossible.

      So I like efforts like Happy Melly. I thing they can do lots of good. And I strongly believe that it will be the individual contributors – not the CXOs – who push the next business movement. But I'm looking for leverage. An that means shifting the fundamental mindset and culture of 80,000 person businesses.

      1. Everything on the Animal 100 list of biggest animals is a blue whale. They're in an environment where being very big can be a successful strategy. But they're utterly unable to cope with 25% of the Earth's surface. And they're never going to make it to space.

        Size is sometimes a good metric to care about, sometimes not.

    1. So far no progress. I have put 0 effort into that one; am focused on others.

      I won\’t get everything on the list. But this one is likely to happen at some point.

    2. No progress. No intended progress: I am working on others of these now. The language will likely happen at some point, but not a current effort.

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