There is this song by Joan Manuel Serrat, the Catalonian singer/songwriter. While his musical style wasn’t ever my favorite, I have always been touched by his deep -sometimes jarring- lyrics.
The song I am referring to is “Caminante no hay camino”, which roughly translates to “There is no road, traveler”, and the chorus goes “see hace camino al andar”, or “a path is traced as you walk”.
I love this image, and I think it is more true than ever. The online landscape, just like our physical world in the very early days, lacks roads. There are not many public main roads where you can settle by and hang a shingle out to offer your goods and services. When opening a brick-and-mortar store, the saying used to go “location, location, location”. The more centric, the busier the corner, the more customers you were going to get. There is almost no equivalent to this online. Sure, you can set up an account with Amazon, or publish your messages on Twitter, but you will be competing with anybody else doing the same.
There is an alternative, and it is to build your own road, which in the digital world, doesn’t require heavy machinery, but the really hard task is to get people to transit your road.
There is also another interpretation that I’d like to ponder, and it is that in our quest for happiness or our success, we sometimes get paralyzed evaluating all the options, searching for the right path for us, the one that fits us, the one that will take us to our destination. We don’t realize that for many of us, there is no such path. We are unique, and no pre-established path will ever feel just right.
Instead of searching for a path, sometimes it is best just to start walking. We will trace a path on our journey.