Forced Experiments Now Create Applicable Skills Later

We’re thinking and wondering what will and won’t be forever changed due to this quarantining. We’ll go back to work, school, and being social, but neither ourselves or our other activities will be exactly the same. Professionally, this means we have to be asking questions now about which new aspects will stick, which won’t, and what’s the impact on our clients of each? How have their experiences or expectations changed too?

I attended (went to? celebrated? joined?) a Zoom birthday party this week along with 3 generations of family and friends. Would we do it again for a party? Probably not as a first choice, but – was it better than a call to see everyone’s faces to sing and toast? Absolutely. History has been altered. Everyone, across the entire age demographic, agreed.

Ben Evans wrote in “COVID and Forced Experiments,”

Every time we get a new kind of tool, we start by making the new thing fit the existing ways that we work, but then, over time, we change the work to fit the new tool…

I don’t think we can know which is which right now, but we’re going through a vast, forced public experiment to find out which bits of human psychology will align with which kinds of tool, just as we did with SMS, email or indeed phone calls in previous generations.

This pattern is really important for us to process right now. We are fitting our old ways onto new tools, and this is going to continue to evolve. The openness to experiment means it’s a great time to talk to clients, friends, anyone – across generations, and ask what’s working for them and what else we should try. Now is the time to set up extra tests and run extra experiments. Do the old thing a new way and see how everyone feels about it. If we are committed to learning as we go, we can add some very powerful new skills and tools to our stack.

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