Sunday, July 17, 2011

The More Obvious It Is To You The Harder It Is To Convey It To Others

When I was in school, I had a physics tutor. He was a professor in my Dad's college. He was a brilliant physics scholar and could explain the complex concepts of physics with great ease. I enjoyed learning from him and did well in physics tests. But he could not teach basic mathematics such as addition and subtraction to his 6 year old son. He was frustrated with is son. So his wife, a home maker, had to take over tutoring their son.

I asked him about it and he said "Two plus Two is four. It is so obvious. How come that guy does not get it. I have no idea how to teach him that." This was a great lesson for me. The clearer a concept is to me, the harder it is to convey it to others.

Every time I discuss product concepts and features with my colleagues, I keep this in mind and it has served me well. But from time to time, I do get frustrated when explaining concepts that seem so obvious to me, to my colleagues. For example, where you start when  a person asks you "What is Facebook?".

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