Friday, November 2, 2007

Fun story

This is from Megan McArdle:

At a conference last year, I saw an incredibly compelling presentation from the guy who does usability for Treo. He talked about design philosophy, and showed slides of a project he does where he goes into various institutions, divides people into groups, gives them spaghetti and some tape, and asks them to build the tallest self-supporting structure they can. The worst-performing group, you'll be unsurprised to hear, was MBA students; they spend all their time arguing about who will be boss. Engineers do okay. But the best performing group? Kindergarten students.

The students don't plan anything. They just try stuff, and if it doesn't work, they try something else. The presenter's argument was that if you want to do something quickly, and well, you need to have a lot of failure. Failure is the quickest way to learn.

Basically a nice quick argument for messy capitalism over planned economies (or planned anything).

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