Everything's obvious

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Everything’s obvious once you know the answer” is the title of a really interesting book I am reading right now (thanks to my son Sean).

The title makes everyone snicker because it’s so obvious and because it points out a really interesting issue with people – our general lack of appreciation for the various levels of understanding people have on any particular subject. What’s obvious to me isn’t “obviously” obvious to anyone else – yet I always seem a little surprised (and sometimes impatient) when it’s not.

It seems we expect people in our circles to know much of what we know (or they wouldn’t be in our circles). This probably works well for immediate circles, but what about larger circles say, for example, the PS Audio customer base which is probably well in excess of 100,000? Is it reasonable to expect that large of a group (or as Seth Godin labels a “tribe”) to be in the know?

I can’t tell you how many times I have struggled to assemble something “simple” like a barbecue only to scratch my head and get impatient with the knucklehead that wrote the lousy instructions. Closer to home, I just got a note telling me that the instructions for the P10 Power Plant “aren’t worth the paper they are printed on” which is probably true since it’s an electronic document. 🙂 Humor aside, this is a very real problem and one all of us (certainly me) need to work on.

What’s clear to me isn’t necessarily clear to anyone else. A good set of instructions that “everyone” can understand is a work of fine art; one that rarely gets appreciated.