What's the Worst That Could Happen?

Patrick McIvor | December 20, 2011 | 2:05 PM

What's the worse that could happen?

I was playing video games with my oldest daughter this weekend and at one point she wanted to try a soccer game she had never experienced.  It is an old Nintendo 64 game station we have up at our cabin, so the game play is pretty simple, but the graphics are pretty "real" looking for an old game.  As we were playing, I noticed something interesting, she was having trouble because she was failing to try.

I had just watch a great TED conference about how nature doesn't try to be right, it just try's and through natural selection it try's more things with what works and doesn't worry about being wrong.  It is only humans that have what is called a "God" complex that instead of trying and then seeing what works, first decides what works and then try's to make it work, instead of trying things that work first.  A story was shared about how a special nozzle needed to be made and a major company hired the "nozzle god" to make the worlds best nozzle and as you probably guessed, it did not work.  Then, they tested 10 random nozzles, picked the best one, made ten random variations, tested them, picked the best one, made ten variations and did this 45 times until they made the best nozzle in the world.  And, they had no idea how they did it, it just worked.  Every time they tried a bunch of stuff, picked what worked best and then did a bunch of stuff with that, not right or wrong, trial and error. It is so important to try not to try the things that we know are right, we need to try things that work in new ways. 

When I asked Emma why she wasn't hitting any of the buttons in the game (because it’s soccer, most players are computer controlled and the game can play by itself) she said she was afraid she would hit the wrong button.  I asked her, "If you hit the wrong button, will you die?" she replied that she could die in the game. "Does that matter?" I asked.  I know there are many things in life that we should not try because they could kill us, but in the game she was losing because she was failing to try.

For me, 2012 is going to be a great year and one of the reasons is because I promise to be trying a lot of new things and sharing a lot of new ideas.  I'll let you know what works and look forward to hearing about what is working for you.  With an open source network of ideas and a DIY approach, together not only can we make things better for us and our industry, we can make our world better through sharing, trail and error and not having to be right.

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