The 100 Monkey Rule when trying something new

While the 100 monkey rule is generally applied to what you could call social change, it can also probably be used when trying anything new.

You can see a similarity in materials science or simply by boiling water, you heat something up to what’s called a tipping point, after which it needs minimal energy to keep going.

When applied to trying something new, you could say it’s trying something a 100 times to sort of get the kinks or rough edges smoothed out, your learning curve.  After so many times, things seem to rise to a new bar, a new level, and you can continue to do so almost effortlessly.  Some examples:

  • Freelancing: You do one job or sell one piece of work is one thing, by the time you’ve done it a couple let alone a 100 times, everything that seemed so challenging at first will be gone.
  • Startups: Even with going with the 90% of all new businesses fail generalization, if you start 100 businesses (unrealistic I know but works for the point being made), this will still give you 10 that made it, took flight, and who knows where they end up once off the ground.
  • Writing: This could apply to all types of writing, write a 100 short stories and no doubt the last 10 will be radically different than the first 10.  Or when releasing your first book, to keep in mind not to probably expect too much, at least until you get first 10 out or so.  From each book you could say you’re building an audience, even if only one new reader, it adds up.  Of course, that’s not trivial either but the point being just having one should be looked at as a beginning, not an ending regardless of the immediate sales success.
  • Painting: You could almost say just plowing through it, and in the course of going through so many different colors, styles, and environments, after a 100 you’ll be able integrate many times the aspects than when first starting out.
  • Music: Play a song live for the first time, no doubt there could be a few stumbles.  After a 100 times, every aspect of it is ingrained.  Or with writing songs, write one, ok, write a 100 and chances are the ideas and words start going to more than a few new places, getting a bit deeper than the surface.
  • Graphics: While it may take you a few hours for the first graphic, after 10 or a 100 you’ll learn at least a few tricks with every one, have hundreds to use from going forward.

Yeah, you could say it’s not really the 100 Monkey Rule but rather persistence, but even with that, occasionally you’ll hit different types of milestones, the “Eureka” moments, those magical tipping points where the whole landscape changes upon reaching.

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Founder and CEO of Odysen, involved with different writing and music freelancing activities, and have previously worked for larger technology businesses in the US, Europe and Asia.