Experts: bias for the status quo.
Every innovation that had a lasting impact on the world has been in a form or another a direct and fundamental challange to the status quo.
Also, before any innovation can reveal its actual impact on the world, there is a point when people get exposed to it and start wondering what it is and how to make sense of it.
In moments like this, people tend to turn to “experts”.
Not surpisingly, these “experts” ARE the status quo and, by extension, are directly threathened by the said innovation.
Because of that, they will take a conservative position and will usually point out all the ways in which said innovation will fail. They will look and act confident and will sometimes expose detailed theories and point to charts.
I am pretty sure the guy with the wheel was laughed out of his cave by the tribe’s experts in moving things by brute force. I haven’t checked, but I am ready to take bets that when the printing press was invented, the day’s “experts” explained how it all was useless since the unwashed, illiterate masses don’t have much use in reading, nor much to read anyway.
Relevant: Underlying Trends > Great Products
And so it has been, always.
The early days of the internet had their share of experts explaining all the ways in which a world-wide computer network is useless. People like this guy.
To benefit early, you have to act quickly
Which brings me to my point. Like most people with an interest in the world, I get exposed to new ideas and innovation every day. As much as I would like to, is is really impossible to dive deeply into every new idea that I come across. So I need some sort of shortcut to decision-making, that will help me act fast and move on.
I have tried to follow “influencers” but I learned quickly that is a realy bad heuristic. I tried to refer back to some “fundamentals” but I learned quickly that “fundamentals” are relative.
Eventually I settled on a hack that has so far never failed me. It will surprise you by its simplicity:
I learned that the most useful framework for decision-making when it comes to innovation is to listen to “experts” and do exactly the opposite of what they are saying.
Double down on this every time the expert is a dude past his 60s wearing a suit and being interviewed on TV.
Will this work every time? No. But i can guarantee it will work more often than it will fail.
I am writing this on a day when Bitcoin’s price in US Dollar is at the all time high of $22,800. To celebrate, here is a short video of experts in suits over the last 3 ytears explaining why Bitcoin will fail: