Russell Ackoff had such an interesting mind. I used to collect all his books but gave most them away by lending them out. My favorite saying of his:
In Ackoff’s The Art of Problem Solving he relates a story of how a kitchen appliance manufacturer observed that the most popular products involved no bending or climbing. But the ones that did involve bending, like a dishwasher, were unsuccessful at adoption.
The takeaway? You can’t learn anything important by guessing from the brilliance of your own mind — choose to learn by stooping to your customer’s level. In the case of this example, and if you have a bad back like me, it’s easy to realize quickly how useful stooping can really be. —JM
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