We don’t know what we don’t know. We also don’t know what we don’t experience. Last week I posted about judging a high school entrepreneurship business plan competition. I started thinking more about the judges discussion of the plans today.
One of the stranger things to pop out was that these students, who are addicted to technology, did not use the internet, telephone, texting, tweeting or any other form of technology as part of their marketing plans. One of the other judges, who works at the Canadian Youth Business Foundation told me that millennial generation thinks of technology as a way to communicate with each other — that all it is one giant social media environment. It doesn’t occur to them to think about the business applications of technology.
Because they lack experience using the internet (and other associated forms of technology) for anything except communicating with each other, it doesn’t even occur to them that it can be used for support, marketing, sales, marketing research, secondary research or competitor intelligence from a corporate perspective.
My friend the Skinny Professor swears that the only way that he can learn about something is to experience it. Just dive right in and try it. See it from a different point of view. Sometimes the experience will be valuable, sometimes it won’t. The bugger of it is that you don’t know which one is which until you try it. But, on the whole, I think the Skinny Professor is right. You don’t know what you haven’t experienced.