Guy Kawasaki has an interesting post over at American Express' Open Forum blog. In it he details some of the lessons that Scott Kirsner learned in his book Inventing the Movies: Hollywood’s Epic Battle Between Innovation and the Status Quo, from Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs. I think Guy could take his observations one step further. We could take a whole lot of pressure off of ourselves.
We should understand that we need not always strive for perfection – where Guy says technology has to be "just good enough", I'd say, "just do your best".
"Innovators never underestimate the importance of allies" stands solidly as it is for designers as well.
"Innovators spot market opportunities first, and chase them relentlessly." Educate yourself and open your eyes. And whatever you do, be original. Fads fade.
"Innovators find collaborators who share their vision, and they’re prepared for things to take longer than expected." Be patient and true to yourself. Success doesn't come overnight but it usually will come quicker than expected if you are prepared.
"Innovators acknowledge that not everyone loves a revolution." Remember that you don't always have to re-invent the wheel. Subtle improvements here and there will usually suffice. People don't like change. If you do want to start a revolution, remember that there will be blood before it's all over.
All in all, the greatest lessons Guy and Scott offer could be boiled down to "Stay true to yourself. Keep your eyes open. Work hard. And be patient…"