Tag Archives: genius

Crackpot or Genius?

It’s the essential question of life: Crackpot or genius?

So this Ph.D. in economics, Mark White, has this idea that museums could sell shares in their artwork to raise money. It’s this bizarre, crazy idea to somehow monetize the holdings of museums and give them new access to capital without selling everything off. The idea was being discussed because the Detroit Institute of Arts might be desperate enough to try it.

At the end of the article, White has the best quote ever:

Innovators, he points out, are frequently wrong. “I could be a crackpot,” he said, in a telephone call. “But I think I’m a genius.”

Don’t we all? How often do we have these ideas that are either brilliant or horrible? Maybe they’re both, depending on who you ask (one person’s crackpot is another person’s genius). And maybe when you ask. It’s such a great sentiment, acknowledging the reality of ourselves: Yeah, I could be a little nuts. But I prefer to think of myself as brilliant.

And perhaps that’s what separates the crackpots from the geniuses. If you never push your idea, if you never pursue it, if you never put in the hardwork to make it a reality, then you’re just a crackpot. But if you put in the time, the sweat, the energy—then maybe you are a genius.

I could be a crackpot. But I think I’m a genius.