Cynism Gets a Bad Rap

It is easy to blame bad attitudes and dissatisfaction on a a cynical spirit. Everyone writes about how we need to stop being cynics and instead have health skepticism that leads us to want to change.

I’ll bite.

I’m skeptical because I am a cynic. I quitting try to find all the problems with an idea or situation. I try to “kill” it quickly. I am slow to believe it.

I think that the Google Team, Project X that does moonshot ideas, is full of cynics. They quickly try to kill ideas, make them fail, and poke holes in each others theories so that they don’t waste time on ideas that don’t hold their own.

It’s brilliant. If an idea can’t handle someone trying to kill it, it’s probably a great idea or at least the step needed to get to the next phase which is the great idea.

We should be cynics so that we can stop fooling ourselves in good ideas and go for the great one.

At the end when cynicism hasn’t been able to totally kill the idea, you need to embrace it.

Otherwise you aren’t a cynic, you’re just a stick in the mud.