Experts are Clueless

Just the other day I was briefly browsing through a few YouTube videos when I stumbled upon something really interesting. This video had Guy Kawasaki talking to young entrepreneurs about what he learned from Steve Jobs. For those who don’t know Guy Kawasaki, he was a former Chief Evangelist for Apple promoting the brand and growing a stronger community. He has worked closely with Steve Jobs during his days at Apple and it comes without a doubt that the learning that he was about to share was going to be priceless.

So the video started and as soon as he made his first point I paused the video – He said “Experts are Clueless”, it sounded outlandish at the time. How could he say something so extreme? I look up to this guy, for crying out loud. But I had to get to the other side of his point to know what he really meant so I watched more. And within 3 minutes I saw what he was trying to say. You probably might have reacted the same way when you saw the title, but to be honest he makes a great point, allow me to explain.

We often look up to experienced people for advice, tips or insights as we believe that they have seen more in their field, which ofcourse is not wrong. Everything they say or do becomes a norm that we follow blindly. Experts generally define things within their established limits which closes the bottle on innovation. We need to break away from these limits and find our own way. But it’s not going to be easy; people will laugh at you for not listening to the “experts”, but when you have your Eureka moment, the world will watch in awe. Here’s a true story of Tinker Hatfield, an architecture turned shoe designer who is now Nike’s Vice President of Design and Special projects. In the late 1980’s, Nike was falling short of their competitors and was in a need of a good shoe design to move back to the top. The designers at Nike were in for a challenge and it was Tinker Hatfield who made a shoe with the visible air bubble. There were many guys within Nike who did not want the shoe to go into production and found a hole in the shoe as an audacious idea. But Tinker didn’t back out, with the help of his design and great marketing the shoes were a worldwide hit. Today, the moment we see a show that has a visible Air bubble we know without a doubt that it’s a Nike show. That’s the power of believing in what you want to do and breaking free from the norms. Yes you will make mistakes, but you will learn from it. It’s an adventure that only a few believers can experience.

We have also gathered a list of things some very influential people said in the past during the birth of some crucial technologies that we can’t do without today. Take a look.

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”— Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943. 

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” — Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.

“While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially it is impossibility.” — Lee DeForest, inventor.

Some of the statements might give you a chuckle, but think about this – if the inventor or the companies of the products took these statements seriously, a computer or television at home would have been a fairy tale. They did not listen and believed in their dreams and eventually made it [thank god for that, can’t imagine my life without a computer and a television ;-).

Honestly we don’t want to take any credit away from experts in their respective fields. All we are trying to say is that if you have a dream then don’t bother with the “expert opinions”, just build your own path.

So what do you have to say about this point? Agree or Disagree, just leave a comment below and we can talk. If you have around 21 minutes to spare then enjoy the video that inspired me to write this.

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