There is a world of difference between something that’s impossible and something that’s almost impossible.

The beauty is that the harder something is, the more value it can have. No one else can do it, or nobody else has tried, or it is just difficult to copy.

If you’re pursuing things that are near impossible to do - so hard that most people think they’re impossible and don’t even try to pursue it, whatever you are doing must have incredible value. You are working within a golden area in the zone of impossibility. A place right before true impossibility, a place where people believe it is so hard that it is impossible. And where you automatically get a moat of defensibility once you achieve it.

Try being like everyone else. Try regressing to the mean, and you will do okay. But you will never do great.

There are things that are impossible because we don’t know how to do, or don’t have the capabilities in that particular organization to do them. There are also things that seem impossible simply because they haven’t been done before, or because people believe they’re impossible. Well, it turns out that people who don’t know that they are impossible or are the crazy people who want to challenge the status quo can turn them into possible.

Here’s a summary of a related article I read recently that really stuck out to me.

COVID, Merck, and Vaccines

During COVID, Merck’s CEO told everyone that a vaccine approval in 2020 was impossible. “I think when people tell the public that there’s going to be a vaccine by the end of 2020, they do a grave disservice to the public.”

He said that Merck was the best vaccine developer in the world - and he wasn’t wrong. In the last 25 years, there have only been seven, truly new vaccines introduced globally at the clinical practice. Merck made four, and the rest of the world made three.

So the world’s expert in vaccine development was telling other companies that a COVID vaccine was impossible by 2020.

Of course, in the end there were two vaccines approved in 2020. Unsurprisingly, Merck’s wasn’t one of them.

They believed it was impossible. Clearly not.

For venture capitalists - it is easy to regress to the mean. It is easy to play it safe and invest in your B2B SaaS softwares. But as I’ve outlined in Nanoneuro and First Principles and Building What People Want, I promise you that you will win some. But you will never win big.