11 January 2013

Facts & Interpretation of Facts:

Facts are facts. But the are temporaries. Your interpretation of the facts and your subsequent actions determine whether those facts will or will not change.
Most of us will be familiar with this famous story used to illustrate optimistic and pessimistic persons:

A business development executive from a shoes company visited a place to assess the market. He discovered the following fact:
  • People living there walk around bare footed. They don't know about such a thing called shoes.
  • Optimistic: It is a great market for shoes.
  • Pessimistic: There is no hope for shoes - they do't wear them at all.
Question: Which is the right interpretation?

Answer: It all depends and both could be right.

The Pessimistic guy acted on his interpretation and did not enter the market and thereby fulfilling his 'prediction' of 'there is no market for shoes there'.

The Optimistic guy work out a promotion program to show the people the values of shoes ---- protection, effectiveness, productivity and beauty etc. He persuaded the leaders there to try out the shoes FOC with other activities to make the leaders look good among his people; more and more people test it and give good reports; a few year later, going bare-foot become a strange thing for the young people there.

What is the moral of the story?
1. watch our interpretation of facts.
2. facts are temporary, your aspiration and hard work can change them.
3. think above the line and take responsibility for what you are and can become; blaming others change nothing.
e.g. Apple in phone business.

One more thing, the story has not ended yet.
The Pessimistic person went to another place where people do wear shoes. He work with his engineers to personalize the shoes to suite the contour of their feet and create a great and profitable business too. Remember point 2 above.

You can choose to be 

  • in the incremental innovation business or 
  • in the disruptive innovation business. 
Pick one where your strengths can help you i.e. it is easy for you and extremely hard for others... then you can be the leader...

All the very best to your adventure in life.

Lim Liat (C) 11 Jan 2013

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