Lisa Hickey reflects on a very simple invention and gains an insight.
When cars were first invented, they didn’t have blinkers. It was only after the fact that people studying the effect that cars had on society said, “hey, it looks like people keep crashing every time the person in front of them turns. Too bad we can’t figure out a way for the cars to signal their intention before they turn so that people can stop in time.”
And then they solved the problem.
What they didn’t say was: “What idiot invented the car and didn’t realize you’d crash every time you got out there and made a turn” or “The general public is too stupid to drive cars, they are never going to work” or “Cars will never work, it’s fine when there are only a few people on the road but they are just not scalable.”
Yet that’s what I see people do when it comes to technology, or social media, or networking platforms. They blame the creators or they blame the people using them or they blame the product itself, or they can’t seem to make things scalable.
Until someone else comes along and solves the problem.
Which just got me thinking that some day I would like to be the type of person that invents the blinker. The one thing that so simply, elegantly and profoundly solves the problem.
photo of ’56 Deluxe Turn Signal: jessicafm / flickr