Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The flip-side of experience.

I have to admit that, for a long time, I've suffered from an inferiority complex regarding my age. I've always been the youngest in almost everything. I am the youngest in my group of friends. And in most of the places I've worked - same thing. And because of that I had to deal with the "I-know-it-all" folks who would use the age factor for everything. I've heard it all... "you're still a child", "wait to be my age an you'll see", "you don't know anything about life", "you will understand one day". I even had something like "I also wanted to change the world when I was your age". 

Well, I agree that experience is something important, it brings knowledge and an amazing anticipation and organization capacity. But hiding behind experience is wrong. You tend to just "loose it", I mean, your genuine capacity of dreaming, of thinking the unthinkable. You loose your audacity and creativity almost like the adults in Peter Pan. :) These "I know better because I am older" and "It's always been like this" are just sad! And you extrapolate this into the professional field, you have the answer why things are slow and always the same. 

I was reading Wolff Olins' website some time back and just loved one of the texts called "Five Marketing principles for 2010". It's starts with a beautiful sentence: "Most of the marketing rules we lived by just five years ago are practically obsolete." Things change and everybody knows that "things change". But shouldn't the "good experience" bring you the capacity of being the agent of change? 

What about the following sentence: "A Bain & Co. survey notes that 80 percent of CEOs believe their product to be differentiated, but only 8 percent of consumers agree.(...) These are not just sad examples of illusory superiority, but a staggering statement of our industry's failure to add value in the past decade.". I think that the definition of the word experience needs a serious review in many people's mind!

I really loved the article. Read it here, it's worth it!


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