Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. -Albert Einstein
Steve Wozniak gave a speech on the early days of Apple to students of Berkeley. He told his whole story of the early days until Apple’s success.
There was one part around 25 to 35 minutes in that surprised me.
The details were too complicated for me to understand (I’m not an engineer, but neither was Steve Jobs). However, the main message I got loud and clear…
Don’t let your advanced skills at something hold you back.
Steve Wozniak was very creative, and he came up with solutions to almost unsolvable computer problems. How? He quieted his mind and asked how he would solve the problem if he didn’t know anything about programming.
He came up with incredible solutions such as typing equations in from left to right without stopping, which the other programmers couldn’t do because they were so trained in their skills that it was difficult for them to unlearn it.
Not every problem has a simple answer, but often, the more complicated answer is wrong. We used to believe that the planets revolved around the Earth. And physicists had to create more and more complex solutions to account for the things they discovered. They couldn’t accept the much simpler math and solution that planets revolved around the Sun because of their religious bias.
What advanced skills hold you back?
Sometimes, what you have developed hold you back because they force you to tackle or approach or solve a problem in a rigid way when there are more efficient ways.
Try unlearning and solving the problem in a new way. Think in the mind of an explorative, naive, fresh child. How would he or she solve things differently?
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