Telling it as it isI've written about this previously, and I don't have a satisfactory answer to my conundrum as yet. As a consultant, one often encounters clients who are absolutely certain that their idea is the next best thing to the proverbial sliced bread. No amount of evidence to the contrary is sufficient to convince them to abandon their quest. They may realize that the odds are insurmountable. They want to plough on regardless. They believe that somehow they can make it happen, that they can succeed where others have failed, that they are somehow special. What does one do in this case? I want them to succeed, and at the same time I don't want them to hang on to false hope. How do I reconcile this with the fact that I may be wrong? Data and evidence is never incontrovertible. Do I walk away? Do I persist in making them see the light? Do I fuel their fantasy?
Product Function and JobI recently met someone who reminded me of the stark difference between the function of a product or service and the Job that the product or service satisfies. As a photographer, his function is to take photos, while the Job that he performs is to help clients sell more. It was a classic case where understanding the underlying Job opens up avenues for more business.
I Blame the PoetsIf we think long and hard about it, cognitive dissonance is at the root of all human angst. When reality differs from expectations, we find it difficult to understand and process. All pain, all suffering, that we inflect on ourselves is because we refuse to accept that what is, and continue to want that what could be, or that what we believe should be. It is our inability to reconcile the two, when our mind rebels, when the dissonance sets in.
Universal Truth and Entrepreneurship and InnovationI recently came across an article in the journal Nature that just blew me away. Titled "How unrealistic optimism is maintained in the face of reality", it explains the mechanism that according to me underpins the very survival of the human species. Though it is primarily I believe a survival mechanism, it is what leads us to entrepreneurship, innovation, success, and also the inevitable failures that must exist .
Uber and Innovation and the Desire for ChangeI recently read an article on Uber in the New York Magazine that got me thinking. Not particularly about how Uber is a glorified taxi company and is headed for a crash soon, but about monopolies and innovation and the desire for change.