There's a cool moment in the documentary It Might Get Loud. Jack White is swapping stories and licks with Jimmy Page and The Edge, and they ask him about the riff from "7 Nation Army.

"We were at a sound check in Australia and I played it. I thought, "This is really cool," and my friend came up and I said, "What do you think of this?'"

He said, "Eh, it's all right."

It's almost great when people say that, 'cause it almost makes you defensive... you think, "No, there's something to this. You don't see it yet. It's gonna get there." 

So I kept at it.

That "all right" riff that Jack "kept at"? It turned into this.

(Note that the official YouTube video has been viewed over 166 million times.)

Jack knew he had something. He didn't let criticism, or at the very least a lack of enthusiasm, stop him.

He trusted his talent -- and himself.

But what he couldn't have known is that riff would become a part of popular culture, inspiring stadium chants like this:

And not just in the U.S., and not just for a short period of time. Here's the crowd in Paris before the 2016 Euro final between Portugal and France.

The point?

The biggest hits are often things people don't see coming. That's true with music, with movies, with books... and with products, services, and even companies. 

As Steve Jobs said, "A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show them."

And the only way to "show them" is to stick to your ideas, your beliefs, and your vision, even though other people might not get it -- yet.

(In other news: Jack White's new album Boarding House Reach comes out today. It's really good.)

Published on: Mar 23, 2018
Like this column? Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you'll never miss a post.
The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of