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The Curse of Knowledge Bogs Down Innovation 260

Secret of Raising Smart Kids writes ""I have a DVD remote control with 52 buttons on it, and every one of them is there because some engineer along the line knew how to use that button and believed I would want to use it, too," says David Heath, co-author of "Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die." The "curse of knowledge," is the paradox that as our knowledge and expertise increase, our creativity and ability to innovate tend to taper off because the walls of the box we think inside of thicken along with our experience. An article in the NY Times proposes a solution to the curse: bring outsiders with no experience onto teams to keep creativity and innovation on track. When experts have to slow down and go back to basics to bring an outsider up to speed, "it forces them to look at their world differently and, as a result, they come up with new solutions to old problems." Another solution is to force yourself to become a beginner again like making yourself shoot basketball left-handed."

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