How well do you understand your work?
I’ve been grappling with this headline for some time now. I believe that anyone who has an interest in creating new things should be brave and ambitious enough to go out there and just create. The modern landscape is set up for people to go out and create. The manufacturing capability is there. The materials are available. The audience is at your finger tips and we have more free time now than ever before. What this means is - anyone can actually go and create a new product and figure out a way to put it out for the masses. You no longer have to be a large corporation in order to execute that.
So what do you choose to create?
The suggestion is obvious - choose something that you understand. Or - choose something that you’re willing and curious to learn about.
You see, in order for you to create something great and something meaningful - you need to have at least some understanding of how to create it. You need to understand the rules before you can begin to break them. Yes, there is such a thing as a new point of view on an old problem - where knowing everything about the process can actually be a negative. But, this is something you have to avoid. And it can be avoided with an exploratory phase - where anything and everything is put on the table and is considered as a potential direction.
So, how well do you actually need to understand what you’re doing?
One of my projects right now involves steel. I know very little about steel - in fact I know that if I understood the manufacturing process, I’d be able to make better decisions and solve my problems in a smarter way. I’d be able to see potential new outcomes by understanding how the manufacturing process works with that specific application. I know that - and I’ll be visiting that factory in a few months. But, in the meantime, I’ve been able to create a new design, I’ve been able to refine it and improve it. But, I know I’m missing that last step - that next potential little thing that can take it from good to great. Depth of knowledge can be limiting - but, it can also be absolutely liberating. And I think the better you understand something, the better you can make it.
This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking.