What’s the potential of anything?

It’s been a while since I’ve written on here (like 10 years), but when you’re called back, you’ve got to answer.

I decided to let go of everything I’ve written before and focus on “new” material. Well, most of my content isn’t new, but it’s now written with a fresh perspective.

But I’ve returned not because of new material—I’m writing again because of a questions: What’s the potential of anything?

The Potential Project

In the past 10 years, I joined three startups: Typeform, Twism, and currently at Rep AI.

I was challenged in ways I didn’t think was possible. Every resource in my arsenal was used, in some cases, resulting in burnout. I have many lessons to share from those journeys and I plan to do that here.

But today, I want to share a new project I’m working on: Potential HQ.

“Potential” remains a timeless problem for humanity—and now it’s my problem. Why? Because I see my sub-optimal self, I wonder, “What’s my true potential?”

Have you ever asked that?

It also brought to mind all the people I previously worked with in a coaching capacity, as well as all the organizations I worked with, from nonprofits to high-growth startups and not-so-high-growth startups.

What was their potential? Thinking of all the possibilities and what could never be boggles my mind.

The thing is, I couldn’t help everyone discover and actualize their potential before—but I can now.

At least, I think I can. That’s why I’m launching this great potential experiment. I hope others will join me, but I know I need to make a case first. And I will over time.

The problem with potential

You could say that nature always meets its potential—given its conditions and what it has to work with. But it’s not so true for us, is it? Probably because we have the power to create whatever world we want. Even a world where we don’t act on our potential.

That word again. The problem with potential is that it’s abstract. Sure, everyone, and arguably, every thing has it. But how do you get the most from it?

I plan to answer that in due time. The purpose of this project is simply: How do we realize unrealized potential as individuals, organizations, communities, and society?

The hidden cost of unrealized potential

What’s the cost of unrealized human potential? What happens when people don’t follow their dreams—when they have the capacity and supportive environment to do that?

Imagine a world where Leonardo da Vinci never picked up a paintbrush, where Marie Curie was discouraged from ever setting foot in a lab.

Consider the loss—not just to them, personally, but to the world.

Now imagine millions of such losses daily, not just in art or science but in everyday innovations, health, happiness, and financial stability that go unrealized.

What are the financial costs? In money and wealth?

What are the emotional costs of dreams deferred or completely abandoned? The emotional toll of a soul-sucking job, a micromanaging boss, and a dearth of meaningful work?

What are the physical or health costs when our bodies don’t get the nourishment or exercise they need daily?

Think about the environmental and societal impact when human potential actualization is sub-optimal?

What’s next?

I’ve compiled a comprehensive framework (or frameworks) to unlock your or your organization’s potential. I will share those insights in my substack here: https://potentialhq.substack.com/

I want to use this blog to share everything, document my insights, and journal my latest ideas and concepts around everything that will help people, orgs, and communities release more of their potential in the world.

I see unrealized potential as the biggest problem in the world.

I know I have to define what I mean by ‘potential’ first, so I will start there and build up to something practical you can use.

More to come soon.