YOU WILL KNOW IT WHEN YOU SEE IT!
Don't Know What You Want But Think You Will When You See It? Everybody Does!
by Thom Inman - Master Craftsman and Western Red Cedar Expert
Don't know what you want but will when you see it? You feel that way because everybody does. The problem is you often never find the means to gather enough information or samples or insights to actually find what it is you want.
Magazine, TV and catalogs offer a lot of stimulating information that often will help you identify what you are imagining: "There's a Whichamacallit that might just work for that Thingy you need." Often, you stumble upon things you aren't really looking for or have been trying to find but glomb onto them as if they were one of those, just the ticket items. These are probably what merchandisers call impulse items.
Our granddaddy look about tool of all time, of course, is the internet because it has tons and tons of ideas. Those ideas don't necessarily fill your niche, fit your need or satisfy your longing because you don't know what you want - remember? During your look about you can often be distracted by the funnies like YouTube or Google Video. Anybody can donate their silliness but sometimes real talent, kind of bubbles up. Most of those videos are just guys crashing one way or another or directly into their groin, but some of them are nearly brilliant.
A couple of things make this enlightenment possible. The first is obviously the large number of contributions. The other one is absolute altruism. Many, in fact, most folks will graciously donate their time and talent - to make the world better place to be - free for nothin'.
If you use the internet like you were browsing through a magazine at the dentist's office, you will never find your whichamacallit because you need to use keywords. Literally ask for exactly what you want or are looking for: Carved Rustic Welcome Signs; Stainless Steel Bird Cage; Paper that doesn't tear - anything at all. You need to Google (that's actually become techno-speak for, "Ask") what you want - that's what will be delivered to you! Among all of those responses you will receive will be listed, in order of relevance, the sources and suppliers of the keywords you used.
Now the work really begins because you have to sort out which of the returns/results is the "golf ball to the groin" or the gratuitous unselfishness of the few who will magnanimously help you find what you want by letting you see it. There will be plenty of near misses. There will be sites with pictures of what looks to be what you want. There will even be sites dedicated to creating what it is that you want. The problem becomes finding the site, company, person or team which will actually assist you by understanding that you don't necessarily know what you want but will when you see it.
Most of the "Hit's" you receive will be relevant if you used specific keywords. What is included; however, are all of the things that are just products by the keyword name. You will find precious few vendors which will work with you in collaboration - even in advance of an order! Paper that doesn't tear for instance might very well be available in 100 foot rolls in white and brown. Your problem will become being able to collaborate with anyone there to see if they can furnish you 25 feet of black paper that won't tear.
Take heart! Those folks are out there and they will be increasing in numbers because what you want and need is universal and the power of innovation is beginning to move from only a few in the know to the many. It's a little like American Idol for vendors and providers of extraordinary services.
May the Forest be with you!