As you may imagine, I read a lot about product development, much of it from the software industry. I found a site by hacker, painter and essayist Paul Graham. In Hiring is Obsolete, he revived my faith in entrepreneurial 20-somethings but there’s lessons there for more than me and they. He’s authored 3 books, one entitled Hackers & Painters , a collection of essays. While I have no doubt you’ve run off to buy this book based on my say-so, those who have not may want to read someone described boringly enough as an essayist. Reading Graham is experiencing genius; that genius means knowing your topic so well that you can explain complex ideas in simple language to simple people who know absolutely nothing about you or your topic and worse, probably could not care less. He’s a prototypical genius-writer with a gift of idea expression in the manner of Feynman -although he writes mechanically speaking, far better than Feynman ever did- his words appear effortless, the timeless test of a master of anything.
Other than to encourage your intellectual curiousity, I mean to ask you your RAQ -as Graham has done- or Rarely Asked Questions. This is a most provocative thought. What are the questions we ask rarely? What questions are we not asking about ourselves, our businesses, each other and this industry? What are the questions we rarely ask and what are the costs and consequences of our failure to do so? How would we live or act differently if we delved into what we’ve denied needing to know? What would our future be? Knowing the answers to questions we rarely bother to ask could change everything.
What’s your RAQ? I can think of a lot of questions that people should ask but don’t. I’m starting a list. You can add to it here.