Well, not really.
Probably it would be better to say naivety as a complement to expertise. However, the subject line sounds more powerful the way it is up there.
I recently published an article based on the inspiring story of the Hovding airbag. An invisible helmet for cyclists. Terese Alstin, Co-founder of Hövding, emphasised naivety was a crucial attitude when pursuing such an endeavour of building the very first invisible helmet for cyclists. Just the adjective “invisible” makes the story interesting. If it is not invisible indeed, it is actually unnoticeable.
Terese insisted that not being experts on motion sensors and physics made them believe it was just possible. Along the road, the pessimistic tried to make them abort the effort, but their naivety pushed them forward. Nice story, both the co-founders are professional industrial designers and had no knowledge whatsoever on any physics, mathematics, or engineering subject at all. Hence their naivety.
I have just experienced something similar on a very basic level of complexity. I will make a joke of myself, but it’s ok as long as I can demonstrate in a plain example how this happens often in our lives, even if we don’t really realise.
I’m from Mexico and have lived in England. Both countries use different electric amperage and distinct outlets (plugs). Normally you cannot use one contact cable from one country, in the other one. The plugs just don’t fit by mere design. A Kanban approach: don’t want people to put the left thingy in the hole at the right side? make the left thingy on the plug and its respective hole square-shaped and the right ones rounded. No way to get it wrong.
So being that this way, I have seen the mexican plugs, and the british ones. Naturally, the European style is different to others also.
What would it be your take on having a Mexican plug while living in a European powered house? Mine is that my Mexican plugs wont fit, so I’d need an adapter. The holes are different. My plugs don’t look like they will fit. Period.
Well, as shown in the picture, I saw the situation this way. I saw a contact on the wall, and authomatically pictured an european plug in my mind. In my logic thinking.
But the real thing was like this. Just the holes on it.
.So what I want to share here is: my 8 years old boy, came back from our trip to Mexico, with a new iPhone we bought in New York (Mexicans use USA style plugs) and he was so excited about it. Naturally! Just like everyone else he is now energy hungry most of time and in a constant quest of the nearest contact to charge his iPhone.
So he was not aware of the bloddy differences between energy amperage and plugs of each country and without any hesitation, he came directly to plug his USA phone’s charger into the European contacts.
I was not around.
And what happened? Well as you probably know (not like me!) this particular sockets I showed in the pictures, can receive both styles, European and American. I DIDN’T KNOW!
My NIKON camera was bought in Mexico, and I had been using an adapter to charge its battery when I actually never needed it. All because in my mind these things are just not compatible. I had never seen such “ambidextrous sockets” and I never thought about the chance to have them available.
My son was completely unaware of the issue, naive, of course clueless and just went off to try it and it worked out well.
Same story can happen in the professional world, and actually more often than not.
The learning is to just remain open to possibilities and away from old, deeply embedded beliefs that might stop us from achieve what we want. Specially to think we know what we actually don’t know.
Disclaimer: OF COURSE an expert here would know about the ambidexterity of these sockets. I am using the title as an impact line to deliver the right message. – Just warning the haters. 🙂
Cheers. As I said, I look like a fool know. No problem. I learned the lesson