Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Happy Accidents

Christopher Columbus discovered America while seeking a sea route to Asia.

Alexander Graham Bell was hoping to help teachers of the hearing impaired when he stumbled on the telephone.

Three PayPal employees built YouTube to compete with the dating site Hot or Not.

Objectives feel good, but accidents often outshine them, as researcher Andrew Smart says in
Harvard Business Review.

"Our objective obsession might be doing more harm than good, causing people, teams, and firms to stagnate," Smart says.

Statistics and stories about inventions prove that.

"Reports indicate that half are the result of not direct research but serendipity—that is, people being open to interesting and unexpected results."

Smart says we should ditch all the goals for "detours" that might lead to "something new and interesting."

"The more time we spend defining and pursing specific objectives, the less likely we are to achieve something great."
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