The curious art of asking better questions
And changing your mind
“Why the f@*& would we want to do that?” Steve Jobs snapped. “That is the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.” In 2004, a small group of engineers, designers, and marketers pitched to Jobs on turning their hit product, the iPod, into a phone. Jobs was worried about cannibalizing Apple’s thriving iPod business. He also hated cell-phone companies and didn’t want to design products within the constraints that carriers imposed. In private meetings and on public stages, he swore over and over that he would never make a phone.
Yet some of Apple’s engineers worked together to persuade Jobs that he didn’t know what he didn’t know and urged him to doubt his convictions. In about six months, Jobs became curious enough to give the effort his blessing, and two different teams were off to the races. Four years after it launched, the iPhone accounted for half of Apple’s revenue.
In stark contrast was another a brilliant college drop-out turned billionaire Mike Lazaridis. By 2009, the company he built, BlackBerry, not only had a cult following from the likes of Bill Gates to Christina Aguilera to Oprah Winfrey, it was also the fastest growing company on the planet. Yet, By 2014, its market share had plummeted to less than 1 percent. BlackBerry simply failed to adapt. As the cofounder, president, and co-CEO, Mike was in charge of all the technical and product decisions on the BlackBerry. Although his thinking may have been the spark that ignited the smartphone revolution, his struggles with rethinking ended destroying the company.
How does we learn to rethink our own opinions? One profoundly simple principle helped me find the starting point on learning to rethink. Read on for more