Royalty Exchange cofounder Gary Young joins the podcast to discuss how self-limiting ideas — our own and those of others — shape our daily reality.
In this conversation with Royalty Exchange cofounder Gary Young, we discuss the Overton window — the range of policies politically acceptable to the mainstream population at a given time — and what it means for entrepreneurs.
The concept, named after Joseph P. Overton, frames the range of policies that a politician can recommend without appearing too extreme in order to gain (or keep) public office, given the climate of public opinion at that time.
The concept offers a helpful way for entrepreneurs to think about their own individual biases and the ideas that shape their daily reality. Many of these can be self-limiting, so it’s helpful to examine them.
I outline four ways Overton windows change over history:
1) Crisis mover (9/11, Covid-19).
2) Gradual persuasion (same-sex marriage, decriminalizing drugs).
3) Charismatic salesman (MLK with civil rights, Ronald Reagan with taxes).
Gary adds a fifth way:
5) A shift in media technology that allows people to observe variances in different people’s Overton windows (talk radio, social media).
Know what boundaries you’re operating within. Test where they are and see if they’re useful.
Don’t be an agent of the Overton window, by shaming and guilting people for their thoughts and actions. Independent thinking will help get you out of an Overton window.
Be an anti-agent: Speak the truth (see “The Turkey Problem” episode) and plant seeds in people’s heads.
“What You Can’t Say,” by Paul Graham
“The Turkey Problem” (previous SmithSense episode)