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Photo by Google

Photo by Google

Sergey Brin hopes to revolutionize the way we travel with Google’s introduction of driverless cars – cars with no steering wheel or brake pedal. Instead of shaking our fist in traffic waiting for the car in front of us to move forward one foot so we may move forward one foot, we could instead read a book or safely dial into the meeting we’re running late for because of traffic. By the end of 2014 Google plans to test the cars on the roads of Northern California.

If I were to anthropomorphize a Google car from a picture alone I’d say they’re friendly, curious, and good at problem solving. Google’s driverless cars resemble a Japanese anime version of Herbie. Though before Google created their own design to meet their safety requirements and appear both competent and harmless enough to evoke consumer confidence, they outfitted Toyota Priuses and Lexus SUVs with all the components needed to be driverless. In the spirit of Thomas Kuhn, Google did not invent the wheel; they started from a foundation of existing knowledge and shifted the paradigm.

When you’re thinking about how to launch or redirect your career it may feel like trying to build a driverless car. With so many successful people with a proven track record already in the marketplace, how are you possibly going to convince anyone to take a chance on you? If you approached the task as a major automobile manufacturer likely would – with a fixed paradigm – it very well might be as impossible as it feels.

There is almost certainly an existing body of knowledge you can utilize in figuring out how to build your chosen career. Explore it fully but don’t limit yourself to the solutions and outcomes that have come before you.