Roger von Oech

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    What I Post About:

    AddThis Feed Button

    Twitter Updates

      follow me on Twitter

      « Thinking About Burma | Main | Putin Jokes: Happy 55th Vlad! »



      Holy bats-- I have a lot to say on this subject! But my 3y/o is only giving me the 'opportunity' to be quick, so--

      --I pursued an English degree, thinking I would "know more" as I got further in my studies. Instead of reading and learning about the great ideas of the world, I got mired in a school heavy on theory, and heavy into making things too complicated-- literally, finding problems. I graduated with the blues, thinking: if this is what the "best thinkers" can come up with, what could the supposedly less educated, less curious Real World have to offer?

      I soon learned most of the exciting stuff was happening outside "the Academy." I worked in a few jobs far outside the field of my M.A., and looking back, I am sure that helped me "think clearly again!"

      Now I teach college composition as an adjunct, and I design my classes to focus on what's out there in the world, how to come up with ideas, and, in fact, how to turn a problem into an opportunity :) (would that be a propportunity?) Some of my best resources? My students, who are "less educated," but have other experiences and perspectives to share!

      Jorge Castillo

      I had to throw away the idea that consumer knows what he/she wants. In other words, marketing research is fascinating but not so accurate as a predictive tool. I found that trying the idea in the real world is the best way.


      Hi Roger,

      Thanks for your inspiring observations & questions. They often help me to stop, reconsider, and re-think.

      As for the preconception I had to throw out the window, one was the idea that people (and markets) behave in 'rational' ways. Boy, was that word overused! A close #2 would be the 'strategy' word. I learned that strategy has nothing to do with conquering markets. Instead, it has every bit to do with posture - how one sees the world.

      In short, the notion that we are cool, calculated and conquering by nature took a real whack on the side of my head.

      Roger von Oech

      Shelbey: I can you see doing a lot of "deconstructing" and thinking, "WTF?" What you're doing now sounds a lot more exciting.

      Jorge: "I had to throw away the idea that consumer knows what he/she wants." If that were true, then market research would = successful sales. Good point.

      Otto: Good comment. I've found that markets tend to be rational — until they're not!


      I've had to throw away the concept that "the customer is always right, even when they're wrong" after working nights and finding people wanting to buy/steal alcohol after our license ends.

      Mary Richmond

      I'm still working on that...when I graduated from college in the mid 70's as an art major I wasn't supposed to think about money at all. I was just supposed to create and let the money take care of itself. It has taken a long time to reconsider that thought and I still have a certain level of discomfort earning a living with my creative output. Of course it's been an interesting ride--from selling hand painted notecards with my dog in Central Park to trying out my own retail shop in a modern "new urban" shopping center and I probably wouldn't trade any of it. I have learned, however, that I must be thinking and creating and planning a bit ahead at all times. By the way, the professors who exhorted us all to not worry about money either became drunks, drug addicts or financially successful themselves!

      Saurabh Garg

      We were hardwired to think that Market Research can provide you with *all* answers.

      Research in my opinion reveals what you already know. To be innovative, we need to slaughter a lot of holy cows and need to pick examples from real life rather than asking around 100000 people and classifying what they want in neat categories.

      Matthew Cornell

      1 Don't focus so much on problem-solving. Instead, use your eyes, look for holes/opportunities, and *listen*. Often clients already know their biggest problems and best solutions. Be a mirror.

      2 To paraphrase Drucker, Think less about doing things right, and more about doing the right things. Think about what you're really paid to do, and toss out everything else.

      The comments to this entry are closed.