Critics

Mid-level managers, and even one person I’m particularly fond of, sometimes say you shouldn’t complain about things unless you can offer some sort of solution.  I say this is rubbish, and stifles innovation. The reason is quite simple: end-users are the most qualified group of people to identify problems, and the least qualified to solve them.

Look at software, and in particular custom-built software with a very specific function. It tends to be built in a vacuum.  Managers make recommendations to developers, developers develop, end-users get stuck with whatever the outcome of that process is.

When it all comes down to it, we’re all good at very few things.  You’re probably good at whatever ever you do to pay your bills, plus maybe 2 hobbies.  You can go to a restaurant and judge the quality of the service and the food, but odds are your culinary expertise comes mostly from the Food Network.  How does that work? How to do get to be critical of the Croque Monsieur if you can’t cook it?

I can’t design a car, but I feel I know a well designed car when I drive one (it’s been a while.)  Everyone seems to feel they have an innate ability to judge movies and music (rendering movie critics a particularly useless group of humans.)  I can judge websites, architecture, books, furniture, and all sorts of other things I can’t create.

Certain fine arts, in my case, are an exception.  I possess no ability what-so-ever to examine a painting of a bowl of fruit and make any sort of judgment on quality of the painting. It occurs to me that if you rented some space in NYC, filled it with connect-the-dot paintings, labeled is an extension of the MMOA, and charged me $5 to get in,  I would get just as much enjoyment from it (which is to say, very little) as if I was at the actual MMOA.

I’m not driving toward any sort of point here, unless I’ve already made one.  If so, that was my point. Just a random stream of thought apparently caused by something I saw while driving earlier.

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