January 16, 2020

Trial and Error

There is a reason that the Pyramids were built much before the Pythagoras Theorem was committed to paper or papyrus. 

The modern education system makes you learn the theory first and then think of its application. In most cases, we even ignore the application completely. Those of you who learnt trigonometry in high school math, do you even know where it is applied?

Let us think of the Wright brothers working on their very first plane. Do you think they had a book on aerodynamics lying open on the floor as they were building their plane? Do you think Thomas Edison was consulting a book on electro-magnetism as he was trying to make the first light bulb? His famous quote – ‘I found a 1000 ways how not to make a bulb’; was a result of trial and error. There was no other way.

For most of the people who have seen success in their lifetime, the practice came before theory.

Throughout human history, we have learnt things through trial and error. Once something got discovered, we understood how it worked, we codified the theories thereafter.

Every successful entrepreneur has built their business through trial and error. The bolder the experimentation, the bigger the business.

It is exactly for this reason that execution is valued much more than the idea. When you go out there and start doing things, you realise how things work – what is right and what is wrong. You form your theories and formulae based on what you see work and fail.

The world is always changing and looking at others might provide you inspiration but you will have to figure out what will work for you based on the new context that you exist in.

Steve Jobs probably never had a social media account and that was fine in his times. Elon Musk cannot go through life like that in a world where Social Media plays a crucial role in marketing.

Be a DOER. Engage in trial and error, find your theory.

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